RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Baseline characteristics and the effects of five years of GH replacement therapy in adults with GH deficiency of childhood or adulthood onset: a comparative, prospective study.

The consequences of GH deficiency may differ if the disease is childhood onset or adulthood onset. In this single-center, prospective study, 21 consecutive adults with childhood onset GH deficiency and 21 adults with adulthood onset GH deficiency, matched for age, gender, body mass index, and number of anterior pituitary hormonal deficiencies, were included. Baseline differences and differences in the responses in body composition, muscle strength, bone mass, and metabolic indices during 5-yr GH replacement were determined. The duration of GH deficiency was longer and serum IGF-I level and body height were lower in the childhood onset patients than in the adulthood onset patients. Body fat (observed/predicted ratio) was increased, and lean mass and muscle strength were decreased, in the childhood onset patients. Total body and lumbar (L2-L4) bone mineral content and bone mineral density were lower in the childhood onset patients. Serum total cholesterol level was higher in the adulthood onset patients. The childhood onset and adulthood onset patients received a similar dose of GH. After adjustment for body weight, however, the dose of GH was higher in the childhood onset patients. The treatment responses were more marked in the childhood onset patients in lean mass, knee extensor strength, left-hand grip strength, and in total body and lumbar (L2-L4) bone mineral content and bone mineral density. The reduction in serum total cholesterol concentration was more marked in the adulthood onset patients. At study end, no differences remained between the two study groups after the correction for body height in the statistical analysis. In conclusion, the baseline analysis suggests more decreased lean mass, muscle strength, and bone mass in the childhood onset patients whereas the lipid profile was more disturbed in the adulthood onset patients. The 5-yr GH replacement eliminated all the anthropodometric and metabolic differences between the two groups.

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