Abstract Aim of the work: To investigate whether serum leptin levels are elevated in patients with
rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and whether these levels correlate with disease activity.
Patients and methods: A case-control study was made on 37 patients with RA and 34 healthy
control subjects. The following values were assessed for each patient: erythrocyte sedimentation rate
(ESR), C reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor (RF), swollen and tender joint counts, disease
activity score 28 (DAS28), health assessment questionnaire score (HAQ), visual analog scale (VAS)
of pain and serum leptin concentrations.
Results: Patients with RA had mild to moderate (DAS28 < 5.1) disease activity. The mean
serum leptin in patients with RA (12.15 ± 11.48 ng/mL) was significantly higher (p< 0.001) than
controls (3.99 ±1.84 ng/mL). Serum leptin levels were significantly (p< 0.001) higher in female
RA patients than in female controls. A nonsignificant difference (p =0.41) was found between
male patients with RA and male controls. Serum leptin levels were significantly (p< 0.001) higher
in women than in men in both patients and controls. Serum leptin levels did not show correlationwith age, disease duration, duration of morning stiffness, VAS, number of swollen and tender
joints, DAS28, HAQ, ESR or CRP in patients with RA. Serum leptin levels were correlated positively
with BMI in RA patients. The BMI was significantly higher (p< 0.001) in female than in
male patients with RA.
Conclusion: Although leptin levels were higher in RA patients, there was no correlation with disease
activity parameters, therefore, leptin levels cannot be used to reflect disease activity.