There is some evidence which shows that higher levels of serum leptin and lower levels of serum adiponectin are associated with the diagnosis of asthma. This meta-analysis evaluated the association of serum leptin and adiponectin levels with the diagnosis of asthma. We searched the MEDLINE, Cochrane, EMBASE and CINAHL Plus databases up to July 2015. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials, prospective studies, retrospective studies, case–control studies and cohort studies. 13 studies with 3642 patients were included in the study. The meta-analysis found that in the overall study population, the diagnosis of asthma was associated with higher levels of leptin (pooled standardized difference in means=0.867, 95% CI 0.416 to 1.318, p<0.001) and lower levels of adiponectin (pooled standardized difference in means=−0.371, 95% CI −0.728 to −0.014, p=0.042) in patients with asthma compared with controls. Subgroup analysis found that higher leptin levels were associated with asthma both in adults (standardized difference in means=1.374, 95% CI 0.621 to 2.126, p<0.001) and children (standardized difference in means=0.302, 95% CI 0.010 to 0.594, p=0.042). However, borderline association of adiponectin with asthma was seen in adults (p=0.05), but not in children (p=0.509). Sensitivity analysis indicated that the findings for leptin were robust. Our findings are consistent with higher levels of serum leptin being associated with asthma regardless of age, and low adiponectin levels being associated with asthma in adults only.
Funding This study was supported by ‘Nutritional Assessment and Intervention in the Treatment of Children with Asthma’ of Science and Technology Fund Project of Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine (Xinhua Hospital Group, No.14XJ22008).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.