High prevalence of coronary calcifications and increased risk for coronary heart disease in adults with growth hormone deficiency

S Cannavò, F Marini, L Curtò, M L Torre, C de Gregorio, I Salamone, A Alibrandi, F Trimarchi
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation 2011, 34 (1): 32-7
Assessment of coronary calcium deposits (CCD) by coronary computed tomography (CT) was recently introduced for evaluation of risk to develop events related to coronary heart disease (CHD). We investigated occurrence of CCD in 19 hypopituitary patients (patients), 34 healthy (H) subjects (H controls) and 36 patients with a similar rate of diabetes mellitus and hypertension (morbid, M), but without pituitary diseases (M controls). Patients were replaced with L-thyroxine, cortone acetate, sex hormones and/or desmopressin, but never with GH. Unenhanced coronary CT was performed by 16-row multislice scanner. Framingham score (FS) was calculated and CCD were measured by Agatston score (AS) in all subjects. AS>10 indicates increased CHD risk. CCD and AS >10 were detected in 50% and 33% of patients, respectively. Prevalence of CCD and mean AS were higher in patients than in H and M controls. In patients, AS was negatively dependent on IGF-I levels (p<0.01) and IGF-I SD (p<0.05), and AS >10 was associated with occurrence of hypertension (p<0.02) and hyperinsulinism (p<0.05). Men and women showed the same prevalence of AS >10 (25 vs 31%). FS and AS correlated significantly (rs=0.33, p<0.001), but CCD were detected also in 3/11 patients with low FS. In conclusion, 58% of patients were at CHD risk on the basis of increased FS and/or AS, above all if they were hypertensive and/or showed hyperinsulinism. CCD were detected also in patients with low FS. CHD risk is higher in women. Risk of CCD is increased in patients with low IGF-I levels.

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