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Socioeconomic factors do not but GH treatment does affect mortality in adult-onset growth hormone deficiency.

CONTEXT: GH deficiency is associated with changes in body composition, increased cardiovascular risk markers, and reduced bone mineral density. There seem to be multiple causes of the reported increased morbidity and mortality.

OBJECTIVE: The objective was to study the socioeconomic status in patients with adult-onset GH deficiency and its impact on mortality.

DESIGN: This is a nationwide registry study in which the socioeconomic status in adult-onset GH deficient patients was identified in the Danish registries and compared with controls matched on age and gender. The socio-economic status included cohabitation, education, income, parenthood, convictions, and retirement.

PATIENTS AND CONTROLS: All patients had adult-onset GH deficiency and were born between 1950 and 1980. Two-hundred seventy-six patients (53.6% men) and 25 717 controls were included.

RESULTS: GH-treated patients had a reduced mortality in total and due to malignancy compared with untreated patients. This difference remained after adjustment for cohabitation and education. Compared with the background population, the incidence of cohabitation, parenthood, and convictions was significantly reduced in patients, whereas education was unaffected. Retirement was significantly increased.

CONCLUSIONS: Mortality was increased in patients, especially among patients not treated with GH. In GH-treated patients, mortality was decreased in total and due to malignancy compared with untreated patients, even after adjustment for all possible measured confounders. The patients had an impaired socioeconomic profile on most parameters compared with controls. This study does not support the suggestion that GH replacement therapy causes increased mortality.

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