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Justified and unjustified use of growth hormone.

Authors
  • van der Lely, A J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Postgraduate medical journal
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2004
Volume
80
Issue
948
Pages
577–580
Identifiers
PMID: 15466991
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy for children and adults with proven GH deficiency due to a pituitary disorder has become an accepted therapy with proven efficacy. GH is increasingly suggested, however, as a potential treatment for frailty, osteoporosis, morbid obesity, cardiac failure, and various catabolic conditions. However, the available placebo controlled studies have not reported many significant beneficial effects, and it might even be dangerous to use excessive GH dosages in conditions in which the body has just decided to decrease GH actions. GH can indeed induce changes in body composition that are considered to be advantageous to GH deficient and non-GH deficient subjects. In contrast to GH replacement therapy in GH deficient subjects, however, excessive GH action due to GH misuse seems to be ineffective in improving muscle power. Moreover, there are no available study data to indicate that the use of GH for non-GH deficient subjects should be advocated, especially as animal data suggest that lower GH levels are positively correlated with longevity.

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