Background and objectives: Recent studies have shown an association between prolactin (Prl) levels and body weight, with increased prevalence of obesity in patients with prolactinomas and weight loss associated with hyperprolactinemia. However, data on variations in body weight associated with different degrees of hyperprolactinemia remain scarce. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of obesity and overweight in patients with hyperprolactinemia of various causes and correlate Prl levels with body mass index (BMI).
Methods: Medical records of patients with hyperprolactinemia were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were classified according to BMI as normal weight (19.0-24.9), overweight (25-29.9), and class I (30-34.9), class II (35-39.9) and class III (> 40) obesity. Disease etiology was divided into microprolactinoma, macroprolactinoma, and other causes for analysis.
Results: Of 138 eligible patients, 52.9% had micro or macroprolactinoma and 65.2% were overweight or obese. Mean patient age was 36.2±13.6 years. Obesity was more prevalent in patients with macroprolactinoma (50%), and overweight in patients with other causes of hyperprolactinemia (37.9%), with no statistical difference between groups. Prl levels were higher in macroprolactinomas, with a statistically significant difference (p<0.001) compared to microprolactinomas and other causes of hyperprolactinemia. Prl was also significantly higher in microprolactinomas than in other causes of hyperprolactinemia (p<0.001).
Conclusions: Prevalence of obesity was significantly high in hyperprolactinemic patients, regardless of the degree of obesity and the cause of hyperprolactinemia. It is important to monitor BMI in patients with elevated Prl levels to introduce measures aiming to maintain an ideal weight and reduce associated comorbidities.
Keywords: Body weight, hyperprolactinemia, obesity, overweight, prolactinoma