Gender-specific reference intervals for cord blood leptin in Crete, Greece

Eur J Pediatr. 2012 Oct;171(10):1563-6. doi: 10.1007/s00431-012-1804-7. Epub 2012 Aug 2.


Cord leptin is a biomarker of fetal growth and adiposity with a role in predicting weight gain during the first months of life and childhood obesity. Our objective was to calculate gender-specific reference intervals for cord blood leptin in healthy neonates in Crete, Greece. We used data from the prospective mother-child cohort ("Rhea" study) in Crete, Greece. The analysis included 398 neonates chosen with strict inclusion criteria based on maternal and fetal characteristics. Cord leptin reference intervals for male neonates were 1.4-18.2 ng/mL and for females 2.0-25.8 ng/mL. Females had higher leptin levels (median 7.4; IQR 4.7-10.9) compared to males (median 4.9; IQR 3.2-7.6) (p < 0.001). Conclusion Gender-specific reference ranges are essential in clinical practice for correct interpretation of leptin values in cord blood and early detection of childhood obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / blood*
  • Leptin / blood*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Leptin