Reduced bone mineral content in adult patients with growth hormone deficiency

T Rosén, T Hansson, H Granhed, J Szucs, B A Bengtsson
Acta Endocrinologica 1993, 129 (3): 201-6
Bone mineral content was measured in a follow-up study of adult patients with hypopituitarism and growth hormone deficiency. There were 95 patients (59 males, mean age 54.0 years, range 21-74 years; 36 females, mean age 53.5 years, range 31-73 years). Routine replacement therapy with cortisone acetate and L-thyroxine was given. All males that were gonadal deficient were on proper testosterone therapy, except in four patients who were treated separately. Bone mineral content (g/cm) was measured using dual-photon absorptiometry in the third lumbar vertebra. Bone mineral content in the patients was compared with a control population (N = 413, 25-74 years of age). Bone mineral content was significantly lower in males (N = 55, p < 0.05) compared with controls. In females, bone mineral content was significantly lower both among the subjects with untreated gonadal deficiency (p < 0.001) and among those with treated gonadal deficiency and normal premenopausal gonadal function (p < 0.005) compared with controls. To summarize, patients with hypopituitarism on routine replacement therapy but not growth hormone have a lower bone mineral content than the controls. The reduced bone mineral content might be a result of untreated growth hormone deficiency.

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