Determinantes biológicos precoces de sinais de adiposidade na infância

  • Mariana Lopes Rodrigues (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction - The World Health Organization defines childhood obesity as a public health priority and its prevention from the first years of life is important for its quality and longevity. In addition to dietary imbalance and sedentary lifestyle, the intrauterine environment also seems to be at the genesis of the onset of this pathology. Adipose tissue plays a role in metabolic regulation and this regulation is done through adipokines such as leptin and adiponectin. These adipokines directly influence metabolic and endocrine processes and their changings at birth has been linked to childhood obesity. Aims - The main objective of this work is to evaluate the association between plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin in umbilical cord blood and adiposity at 4, 7 and 10 years of age in children from the Portuguese populationbased birth cohort, Geração XXI. Materials and methods – Generation XXI was established at birth, having been re-evaluated at 4, 7 and 10 years of age. In this study, 898 individuals with determination of leptin and adiponectin were included, 895 with anthropometric information at 4 years, 811 at 7 years and 750 at 10 years. Descriptive and analytical data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 27.0. A significance level of 5% was considered. Results - Leptin concentrations in the lowest tertile (1stT) increase the risk of obesity in 4-year-old girls, even when compared with the risk associated with those born with leptin concentrations in the highest tertile (3rdT), 2.054 (95% CI): 0.816; 5.167) vs. 1.570 (95% CI: 0.665; 3.706). Also, in 10-year-old girls there was an increased risk of obesity in the presence of leptin levels in the highest tertile: 2.258 (95% CI: 1.063; 4.797) vs. 2.080 (95% CI 0.890; 4.863). Regarding boys, the risk of obesity, at 10 years of age, was higher when compared to leptin concentrations in the 3rd T: 2.370 (95% CI: 1.052; 5.340) vs. 2.175 (95% CI: 1.041; 4.545). At 7 years, no associations were found between leptin and obesity. Adiponectin was not associated with any of the anthropometric parameters evaluated, in the 3 age groups, in both sexes. Conclusion- The results of this study support the association between leptin concentrations at birth and the risk of childhood obesity, up to 10 years of age. The same was not observed for adiponectin
Date of Award26 Nov 2021
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorAna Cristina Santos (Supervisor) & Elisabete Pinto (Co-Supervisor)


  • Childhood obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Leptin
  • Adiponectin


  • Mestrado em Biotecnologia e Inovação

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