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Long-term follow-up of GH-treated girls with Turner syndrome: metabolic consequences

Ellen M N Bannink, Roel L F van der Palen, Paul G H Mulder, Sabine M P F de Muinck Keizer-Schrama
Hormone Research 2009, 71 (6): 343-9

AIMS: To investigate the metabolic consequences of long-term GH treatment in young women with Turner syndrome (TS), several years after GH discontinuation.

METHODS: Follow-up study of a randomized GH dose-response trial, with 3 GH dosages (1.3, 2.0, and 2.7 mg/m(2)/day). Thirty-nine TS patients (20.0 +/- 2.1 years) participated 4.8 +/- 1.9 years after GH discontinuation. Mean GH treatment duration was 8.7 +/- 2.0 years. Fasting glucose, insulin, and serum lipids were measured.

RESULTS: Several years after GH discontinuation, insulin sensitivity remained lower, while beta-cell function and fasting insulin levels remained higher than before treatment. Only BMI influenced beta-cell function. Serum total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) had further increased compared to 6 months after GH, resulting in higher TC, but also higher HDL levels compared to controls. The atherogenic index remained constant, but lower than controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Besides height, GH therapy in girls with TS has additional beneficial effects on serum lipids. Nearly 5 years after discontinuation of GH therapy the favorable effect of GH was still noticeable. The GH-induced decrease in insulin sensitivity, however, remained unchanged, possibly due to having TS.

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