Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the circulating serum leptin level and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to establish a correlation between serum leptin levels and RA activity. Methods: We searched the PUBMED, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases. A meta-analysis was performed, comparing the serum/plasma leptin levels in patients with RA and healthy controls. Correlation coefficients between serum leptin level and either disease activity score 28 (DAS28) or C‑reactive protein (CRP) in RA patients were also examined. Results: Thirteen studies with a total of 648 RA patients and 426 controls were included in this meta-analysis. Circulating leptin level was significantly higher in the RA group than in the control group (SMD = 1.056, 95 % CI = 0.647–1.465, p = 4.2 × 10−7). In addition, stratification by ethnicity showed a significantly elevated leptin level in the RA group in Caucasian, Turkish, and Arab populations (SMD = 0.813, 95 % CI = 0.137–1.490, p = 0.018, SMD = 0.981, 95 % CI = 0.307–1.655, p = 0.004, and SMD = 1.469, 95 % CI = 0.443–2.495, p = 0.005 respectively). A meta-analysis of correlation coefficients showed a small but significantly positive correlation between the circulating leptin level and either DAS28 (correlation coefficient = 0.275, 95 % CI = 0.076–0.452, p = 0.007) or CRP (correlation coefficient = 0.274, 95 % CI = 0.068–0.458, p = 0.010). Conclusions: Our meta-analysis demonstrated that the circulating leptin level is significantly higher in patients with RA and that a small but significantly positive correlation exists between leptin levels and RA activity.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
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