The effects of GH replacement therapy on cardiac morphology and function, exercise capacity and serum lipids in elderly patients with GH deficiency.

Original article


Elgzyri T, Castenfors J, Hagg E, Backman C, Thoren M, Bramnert M.

Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital, Malmo, Sweden.

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2004 Jul;61(1):113-22.


OBJECTIVES: To assess effects of GH replacement therapy on cardiac structure and function, exercise capacity as well as serum lipids in elderly patients with GH deficiency (GHD). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-one patients (six females, 25 males), aged 60-79 years (mean 68 years) with GHD on stable cortisone and thyroxine substitution were studied. All men with gonadotropin deficiency had testosterone and one woman had oestrogen replacement. They were randomized in a double-blind manner to GH or placebo treatment for 6 months, followed by another 12 months GH (Humatrope, Eli Lilly & Co, Uppsala, Sweden). GH dose was 0.017 mg/kg/week for 1 month and then 0.033 mg/kg/week divided into daily subcutaneous injections at bedtime. Echocardiography, exercise capacity tests and serum lipid measurements were performed at 0, 6, 12 and 18 months. RESULTS: During the 6-month placebo-controlled period there were no significant changes in the placebo group, but in the GH-treated group there was a significant increase in IGF-I to normal levels for age, with median IGF-I from 6.9 to 18.5 nmol/l, increase in resting heart rate and maximal working capacity. During the open GH study, IGF-I increased from 8.7 to 19.2 nmol/l at 6 months and 18.8 nmol/l at 12 months (P