Etiology, baseline characteristics, and biochemical diagnosis of GH deficiency in the adult: are there regional variations?

G Brabant, E M Poll, P Jönsson, D Polydorou, I Kreitschmann-Andermahr
European Journal of Endocrinology 2009, 161 Suppl 1: S25-31
Previous work has examined potential links between the etiology of GH deficiency (GHD) and the baseline characteristics of the patients including biochemical and psychometric parameters. Using an update of the KIMS pharmaco-epidemiological database (Pfizer International Metabolic Database), we addressed the question how well such results can be generalized and whether regional differences may play a role. From 30 different countries, 13 167 GH-deficient patients were included in KIMS at the data close in December 2008. In order to explore country-specific differences of baseline characteristics documented in KIMS, separate analyses of baseline characteristics of adult-onset GHD patients (n=7708) were performed for the six largest contributing European countries and the United States. This analysis revealed striking regional variations in the pathogenesis of the disease, clinical characteristics such as body mass index, and in the classical features of the metabolic syndrome such as blood pressure or lipid status between countries. Moreover, the approach to endocrine function testing was widely different between countries, as well as the distribution of etiologies of GHD. These data suggest that a complex relation between biochemical and clinical signs of GHD exists, and that the spectrum of adult GHD syndrome is influenced by regional diagnostic and clinical particularities.

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