2006 Volume 53 Issue 4 Pages 539-545
The purpose of this study carried out at a single institute in Japan was to investigate the clinical characteristics and complications of patients with adult growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Clinical and biochemical data of 110 patients (50 males, 60 females; mean age 42 ± 17 yr) with adult GHD who attended Tokyo Women's Medical University between 1990 and 1999 were analyzed retrospectively from medical records. This retrospective analysis demonstrated that 109 patients had multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies, with 98 patients having a deficiency of more than three hormones. Sixty-one patients had childhood onset GHD (COGHD) while the remaining 49 patients had adulthood onset GHD (AOGHD). Body mass index (BMI) ranged from 16.9 to 35.9 with a mean of 23.9 ± 4.1 (kg/m2), with BMI being ≥ 25 kg/m2 in 38 patients (31% of COGHD and 38% of AOGHD). Forty-one percent of the patients had hypercholesterolemia, 41% had hypertriglyceridemia, 47% had decreased levels of HDL cholesterol and 48% had increased levels of LDL cholesterol. Intima-media thickness (IMT) of the carotid arteries was investigated in 33 patients, with abnormal findings including increased IMT or plaque being observed in 4 of 18 COGHD patients and 4 of 15 AOGHD patients. Diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance was found in 4 COGHD patients and 16 AOGHD patients. Insulin resistance was assessed in 36 patients by the homeostasis model insulin resistance index (HOMA-R) and ranged from 0.65 to 10.58 with a mean of 2.80 ± 0.37. This mean value of HOMA-R was significantly greater than that measured in normal subjects (1.58 ± 0.05: P<0.05). These data suggest that abnormal lipid and glucose metabolism, and atherosclerotic changes occur frequently in adult patients with GHD. Insulin resistance may play a role in glucose and lipid metabolism disorders associated with GHD.