The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and associated cardiovascular complications in adult-onset GHD during GH replacement: a KIMS analysis

Johan Verhelst, Anders F Mattsson, Cecilia Camacho-Hübner, Anton Luger, Roger Abs
Endocrine Connections 2018, 7 (5): 653-662

BACKGROUND: Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AO-GHD) is associated with an increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS).

AIM: To determine the effect of GH replacement on the prevalence of MetS in AO-GHD and to study the impact of MetS on the incidence of cardiovascular events during GH replacement.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: 1449 AO-GHD patients (males 48.9%; mean age 48.9 ± 12.8 year) were retrieved from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database). The prevalence of MetS (using International Diabetes Federation criteria) and its components were calculated at baseline and after one year of GH replacement. The relative risk to develop cardiovascular events according to the presence of MetS at baseline was assessed in another group of 3282 patients after prolonged GH replacement.

RESULTS: The prevalence of MetS was 46.9% at baseline and 48.2% after one year of GH replacement ( P  = NS). The percentage of patients with abnormal waist circumference decreased significantly (80.3 vs 77.4%; P  < 0.001), but impaired glucose metabolism (17.1 vs 23.3%; P  < 0.001) increased and HDL cholesterol (48.2 vs 50.9%; P  = 0.011) decreased. Switch from MetS to NoMS (18.5%) and from NoMS to MetS (18.8%) occurred. All patients showed a significant and comparable amelioration of quality of life. During seven years of GH replacement patients with MetS had a 66% higher risk ( P  = 0.0016) to develop a new coronary disease compared to NoMS.

CONCLUSION: MetS prevalence remains unchanged in AO-GHD during one year of GH replacement whereas its components are differentially affected. Besides GH replacement, consequent pharmacotherapy of all risk factors and endorsement of lifestyle intervention appears to be of uttermost importance together with early GHD diagnosis to prevent cardiovascular disease during prolonged treatment.

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