HDL-cholesterol reductions associated with adult growth hormone replacement

G P Leese, M Wallymahmed, C VanHeyningen, F Tames, G Wieringa, I A MacFarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of human growth hormone (hGH) replacement on serum lipids and lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) concentrations.

DESIGN: A randomized double blind placebo controlled trial for 6 months followed by an open trial where all patients were treated with hGH for a further 6 months. Treatment was with recombinant hGH given in a dose of 0.125U/kg/wk increasing to 0.25U/Kg/wk.

PATIENTS: Thirty two patients with growth hormone deficiency were recruited, but two withdrew because of side effects. Of the thirty patients (age 35.1 +/- 11.8 year; mean +/- SD) completing the study 13 of were assigned to the placebo group for six months and 17 to active treatment from the start.

MEASUREMENTS: Fasting serum samples were analysed for total cholesterol, High density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, HDL-subfractions, triglycerides, lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) and IGF-1. LDL-cholesterol was calculated using the Friedewald formula.

RESULTS: Compared to placebo, 6 months treatment with hGH therapy resulted in increased IGF-1 (37.6 +/- 4.1 vs. 14.0 +/- 2.2 nmol/l, P < 0.01), but there was no significant difference in any of the lipid parameters measured between placebo and active treatment groups at 6 months. hGH was associated with a decrease in HDL-cholesterol concentration from baseline to 6 months (0.97 +/- 0.08 to 0.76 +/- 0.10 mmol/l P < 0.01), especially within the HDL2 subfraction. This reduction was maintained at 12 months. There was no change in Lp(a) concentrations from 0 to 6 months (placebo -26 (-340 to 82), median and range, active -4 (-586 to 212) mg/l). There was no change in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides or proportion of HDL subfractions.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with hGH can reduce serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations. Further investigation of this is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-7
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998


  • Adult
  • Cholesterol/blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL/blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone/deficiency
  • Human Growth Hormone/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/metabolism
  • Lipoprotein(a)/blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Triglycerides/blood


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