Increased fracture frequency in adult patients with hypopituitarism and GH deficiency

T Rosén, L Wilhelmsen, K Landin-Wilhelmsen, G Lappas, B A Bengtsson
European Journal of Endocrinology 1997, 137 (3): 240-5
Fracture frequency was studied in 107 hypopituitary patients with GH deficiency (GHD) (69 men, mean age 53 years, range 18-74 and 38 women, mean age 54 years, range 31-73). Routine hormonal replacement therapy was given, except GH. Five male patients and 15 female patients with untreated hypogonadism were allocated to a separate group. The mean duration of hypopituitarism was 13.4 years. The prevalence of a history of fractures was assessed using questionnaires. A subsample of the Göteborg WHO MONICA Project was used as a reference population (n = 323). The total fracture frequency was threefold higher (P < 0.001) in patients (24.1%) compared with controls (8.7%) (odds ratio 3.49) (1.85-6.56; 95% confidence intervals). In men (n = 64) the fracture frequency was 25.0%, compared with 7.8% among the controls (P < 0.001). In women (n = 23) the fracture frequency was 21.7%, compared with 9.5% among the controls (P = 0.08). The odds ratios for fracture frequency were 3.97 (1.81-8.40; 95% confidence intervals) and 2.64 (0.89-7.81; 95% confidence intervals) in men and women respectively. In conclusion, adult hypopituitary patients with GHD had a threefold increased fracture frequency compared with controls. Further studies are needed to ascertain whether long-term recombinant human GH treatment can reduce the fracture rate in hypopituitary patients with GHD.

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