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Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth hormone therapy influences body proportions and fat content in short statured children

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Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) therapy significantly improves lower limb length relative to height and reduces fat mass in children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD), children born small for gestational age (SGA), and girls with Turner syndrome (TS) within the first year of treatment, according to a study. However, despite these improvements, girls with Turner syndrome continue to exhibit greater body disproportions and higher fat mass compared to the other groups after one year of therapy.

The study included data from 70 children with GHD, 40 children born SGA, and 36 girls with TS.

At the beginning of rhGH therapy, girls with TS had the greatest height deficit (-2.7 SDS), the highest sitting height percentage, and the shortest lower limb length percentage compared to children with GHD and those born SGA. Girls with TS also had higher body weight SDS, BMI SDS, and fat mass percentage compared to children with SGA (P < 0.001). After one year of rhGH therapy, all groups showed a significant increase in the lower limb length percentage and a decrease in fat mass percentage. However, girls with TS continued to exhibit significantly higher sitting height percentage, shorter lower limb length percentage, and higher fat mass percentage, body weight SDS, and BMI SDS compared to children with GHD and those born SGA (P < 0.05).

Reference
Majcher A, Rumińska M, Witkowska-Sędek E, et al. Changes in body proportions and body fat content in GH-deficient and non-GH-deficient children during the first year of growth hormone treatment. Anthropol Anz. 2024. doi: 10.1127/anthranz/2024/1763. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38912850.

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