JOURNAL ARTICLE

Growth hormone (GH) enhances anaerobic capacity: impact on physical function and quality of life in adults with GH deficiency

Viral Chikani, Ross C Cuneo, Ingrid Hickman, Ken K Y Ho
Clinical Endocrinology 2016, 85 (4): 660-8
27346880

CONTEXT: Anaerobic capacity is impaired in adults with GH deficiency (GHD), adversely affecting physical function and quality of life (QoL).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether GH replacement improves anaerobic capacity, physical function and QoL in adults with GHD.

DESIGN: One-month double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study of GH (0·5 mg/day), followed by a 6-month open phase.

PATIENTS: A total of 18 adults with GHD.

MEASUREMENTS: Anaerobic power (watts) was assessed by the 30-s Wingate test, and aerobic capacity by the VO2 max (l/min) test. Physical functional was assessed by the stair climb test, chair stand test, 7-day pedometry and QoL by the AGHDA questionnaire. Lean body mass (LBM) was quantified by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

RESULTS: GH replacement normalized IGF-1 levels during both study phases. During the 1-month placebo-controlled study, improvement in stair climb and chair stand performance was observed during GH and placebo treatment; however, there were no significant GH effects observed in any outcome measure compared to placebo. Six months of GH treatment significantly increased anaerobic power (P < 0·05), chair stand repetitions (P < 0·0001), daily step count (P < 0·05) and QoL scores (P < 0·001) compared to baseline measurements. GH treatment did not significantly improve VO2 max. Improvement in anaerobic power independently predicted an improvement in energy and vitality domain of QoL (P = 0·03).

CONCLUSIONS: GH replacement improves anaerobic capacity, physical function and QoL in a time-dependent manner in adults with GHD. Improvement in the anaerobic but not aerobic energy system is likely to underlie the improvement in QoL in patients with GHD during GH replacement.

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