Vol 59, No 4 (2008)
Original paper
Published online: 2008-07-09

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Effects of one-year low-dose growth hormone (GH) therapy on body composition, lipid profile and carbohydrate metabolism in young adults with childhood-onset severe GH deficiency confirmed after completion of growth promotion

Maciej Hilczer, Joanna Smyczyńska, Renata Stawerska, Andrzej Lewiński
Endokrynol Pol 2008;59(4):292-293.


Introduction: The symptoms of GH deficiency (GHD) in adults include: abnormalities in body composition, unfavourable lipid profile, early atherosclerosis and impaired quality of life. The aim of the study was the selection of patients with confirmed severe GHD from among all the children treated due to GHD, who could benefit from GH therapy continuation in adulthood and the optimization of GH dosage in young adults with severe GHD.
Material and methods: The study group consisted of 54 young adults (38 male), age 17.6 ± 1.5 years, with childhood-onset GHD, who had reached final height. At least 1 month after the GH therapy withdrawal, the second evaluation of GH secretion was performed in all the patients. In 24% of patients, permanent severe GHD (PSGHD) was confirmed, but a group of 9 patients (4 male) was involved in renewed GH therapy.
Results: The renewed GH therapy gave positive effects, including a significant increase in fat-free mass and a decrease in fat mass, and a significant decrease in LDL-cholesterol, but connected with an insignificant decrease of HDL-cholesterol serum concentration and improved results of quality of life (QoL) assessment. During the therapy, an insignificant increase of fasting insulin was observed, with no change in fasting glucose and only a slight increase in HbA1c percentage. A decrease of insulin sensitivity was also observed, but both insulin secretion and the values of insulin resistance indices still remained within the reference range.
Conclusions: The observed positive effects on body composition, lipid metabolism and QoL, together with the absence of adverse events, confirm the indications for GH therapy in young adults with severe GHD.

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