OBJECTIVE: Whether serum leptin levels are associated with insulin resistance independent of the effects of hyperinsulinemia and adiposity is an important unanswered question. We examined the relationship between the rate of insulin-mediated glucose uptake and serum leptin concentrations among nondiabetic men and women. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis was performed among 49 young to middle-aged men and women who participated in the Miami Community Health Study. All participants had measures of insulin resistance (euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp), postchallenge insulin levels, fasting serum leptin levels, and several measures of adiposity. RESULTS: The rate of insulin-mediated glucose uptake (M in milligrams per kilogram per minute) was significantly associated with leptin concentrations in both men (r = -0.83; P < 0.001) and women (r = -0.59; P < 0.001). M was also inversely related to percent body fat and to the 2-h insulin area under the curve (AUC). After covariate adjustment for sex, percent body fat, and AUC, leptin remained a significant correlate of M (P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Cross-sectionally, leptin was significantly associated with insulin resistance in this nondiabetic sample of men and women. There may be a different physiological mechanism to explain the leptin/insulin resistance association apart from the insulin/adiposity link. Confirmatory evidence awaits the results of clinical trials.

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