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Growth Hormone Deficiency

Long-term use of rhGH replacement therapy improves bone mineral density, body composition

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Adults who are treated with recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) for 18 months at physiological doses appear to experience significant improvement in lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) and improved body composition (BC) and quality of life (QoL), according to a study.

This retrospective study included 68 patients with adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) who were treated with individualized rhGH replacement to maintain normal serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels.

At month 18, there were significant changes in BMD compared to the baseline. The lumbar spine BMD decreased by 0.008 g/cm2 (P = 0.006), and then increased by 0.011 g/cm2 (P = 0.045). The total hip BMD decreased by 0.005 g/cm2 (P = 0.008) and did not change significantly from the baseline. These changes in BMD were not sex-dependent. Patients with low Z-scores at the baseline showed a more pronounced increase in BMD (lumbar spine: P =0.005 and total hip: P = 0.018). The lumbar spine BMD had a significantly greater percentage change from the baseline than the total hip (P = 0.003).

Furthermore, there were other significant changes in BC and QoL. Lean body mass increased significantly (P = 0.012), while the total body fat ratio (TBF%) decreased significantly (P = 0.011), and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) decreased significantly (P = 0.016). QoL also improved significantly (P < 0.001).

Reference
Shen YY, Ma JN, Ren ZY, et al. Effects of 18 Months of Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy on Bone Mineral Density in Patients with Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency: A Retrospective Study. Int J Endocrinol. 2023;2023:4988473. doi: 10.1155/2023/4988473. PMID: 37033470; PMCID: PMC10081901.

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