Leptin levels in restricting and purging anorectics
Patients with anorexia nervosa of the restricting (AN-R) and purging (AN-P) subtypes were studied to determine if there was a differential effect on leptin levels. It was hypothesized that the AN-P subgroup would have elevated leptin compared to the AN-R subgroup. Fasting plasma and anthropormorphic measurements were collected from 8 women with AN-R and 5 with AN-P. Eleven women served as controls. Overall, the plasma leptin correlated with body mass index (BMI; R = 0.432, p < .05). The AN-P subgroup had elevated leptin compared to the AN-R subgroup (3.8 +/- 0.8 vs. 1.5 +/- 0.2 ng/ml, p < .05) despite similar BMI (16.0 +/- 0.5 vs. 14.8 +/- 0.8 kg/m2). Additionally, the AN-P subgroup had similar plasma leptins as controls (3.8 +/- 0.8 vs. 3.6 +/- 0.1) despite different BMI (16.0 +/- 0.5 vs. 20.2 +/- 0.2, p < .001). Cortisol in the AN-P subgroup trended to be higher than in the restricting anorectics (21.8 +/- 3.0 vs. 15.6 +/- 1.3, p = .06). In AN, leptin was elevated in AN-P vs. AN. This may be due to increased glucocorticoid stimulation of leptin.