ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Georgia Southern Examines the Role of Adiposity

Leptin was initially identified as an anti-obesity hormone, acting as a negative feedback adiposity signal to maintain energy homeostasis by binding to the leptin receptors in the hypothalamus. To assess the role that adiposity plays in the association between leptin and major depressive episode (MDE), we analyzed the data of 1046 men and 1359 women aged 20–39 years, who completed an interview and had blood collected as a part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1991 and 1994. Waist-hip ratio (WHR) was used as an indicator of adiposity.

[Photo: Dr. Jian Zhang]

The association between depression and leptin is moderated by adiposity among women. Leptin deficiency associates with increased odds of depression among women with normal adiposity. Leptin resistance associates with elevated odds of depression among women with abnormal adiposity. Functionality rather circulating level of leptin is of clinical implications for depression development among women. No moderating effects were observed among men.

The role of adiposity in the relationship between serum leptin and severe major depressive episode,” was published in Psychiatry Research.

Dr. Chinedu C. Ubani, Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology alumni of the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University (JPHCOPH) was the lead author. Dr. Jian Zhang, associate professor of epidemiology at the JPHCOPH was the co-author.