Affordable Access

Effects of exposure to environmental factors on obesity-related growth parameters and leptin (LEP) methylation in children.

  • De Ryck, Evi; 156113;
  • Ghosh, Manosij; 95907;
  • Nawrot, Tim S.; 34994;
  • Reimann, Brigitte;
  • Koppen, Gudrun;
  • Verachtert, Els;
  • Devlieger, Roland; 12729;
  • Godderis, Lode; 5874;
  • Pauwels, Sara;
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2024
External links


The prevalence of childhood obesity is rapidly increasing. Therefore, gaining more information on the role of environmental parameters is key. With overexpression of leptin (encoded by LEP) in obesity, LEP methylation might be altered by environmental exposures. This study aims to assess effects of ambient air pollution and nearby greenness on obesity-related growth and LEP methylation in early childhood. We monitored 120 mother-child pairs from conception until the age of five. Buccal swabs and anthropometric measurements of the children were taken at six months, one year, and five years old. Buccal DNA was extracted to determine LEP methylation levels. Estimates of air pollution and nearby greenness were calculated using high-resolution models. Effects of air pollution and nearby greenness on growth or LEP methylation were investigated using linear mixed effects models. Positive associations were shown for air pollution between conception and age one on impedance in six-month-olds and one-year-olds in the crude model. PM with aerodynamic diameter ≤10 (PM10) and ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) positively associated with waist-hip-ratio and waist circumference at age five in the fully adjusted model. In early childhood, closest distance to forest negatively, and urban green and forest positively associated with weight-for-length, body mass index, and fat percentage in five-year-olds in the fully adjusted model. No significant associations for noise, and walkability on growth were seen. Negative associations were shown for smaller green clusters and positive associations for greater green clusters on LEP methylation in one-year-olds. For forest distance, walkability, noise, or all green on LEP methylation, no significant associations were found. Evidence is provided that ambient air pollution might have a significant effect on impedance and waist-hip-ratio, suggesting an increased risk of childhood obesity. Based on LEP methylation, greater green clusters might associate with a decreased risk of childhood obesity, while smaller green clusters showed the opposite. / status: published

Report this publication


Seen <100 times