Leptin Mediates Correlation Between Bulimia and Weight Suppression

HealthDay News — Leptin appears to mediate the correlation between weight suppression (WS) and duration of illness in bulimia nervosa-syndrome (BN-S), according to a study published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Pamela K. Keel, PhD, from Florida State University in Tallahassee, and colleagues recruited 53 women (aged 18 to 45 years) from the community who met the criteria for BN-S, including bulimia nervosa (33 women) or purging disorder (20 women), and had a body mass index between 18.5 and 26.5 kg/m². Clinical assessments were completed by participants, and they provided blood samples to measure circulating leptin.

The researchers identified significant correlations among greater WS, lower leptin concentration, and longer duration of illness.Mediation analyses using bootstrapping procedures indicated that all paths were significant and that leptin mediated the link between WS and illness duration. There was no support for an alternative model in which longer illness duration contributed to leptin via greater WS.

“Longitudinal research is needed to support temporal associations and explore behavioral mechanisms linking leptin to illness trajectory,” the authors write.

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Keel P, Bodell LP, Haedt-Matt AA, Williams DL, Appelbaum J. Weight suppression and bulimic syndrome maintenance:Preliminary findings for the mediating role of leptin [published online October 16, 2017]. Int J Eat Disord. doi:10.1002/eat.22788