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PLoS One. 2011 Jan 31;6(1):e16223. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016223.

Non-compliance with growth hormone treatment in children is common and impairs linear growth.

Author information

  • 1Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. w.cutfield@auckland.ac.nz

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

GH therapy requires daily injections over many years and compliance can be difficult to sustain. As growth hormone (GH) is expensive, non-compliance is likely to lead to suboptimal growth, at considerable cost. Thus, we aimed to assess the compliance rate of children and adolescents with GH treatment in New Zealand.

METHODS:

This was a national survey of GH compliance, in which all children receiving government-funded GH for a four-month interval were included. Compliance was defined as ≥ 85% adherence (no more than one missed dose a week on average) to prescribed treatment. Compliance was determined based on two parameters: either the number of GH vials requested (GHreq) by the family or the number of empty GH vials returned (GHret). Data are presented as mean ± SEM.

FINDINGS:

177 patients were receiving GH in the study period, aged 12.1 ± 0.6 years. The rate of returned vials, but not number of vials requested, was positively associated with HVSDS (p < 0.05), such that patients with good compliance had significantly greater linear growth over the study period (p<0.05). GHret was therefore used for subsequent analyses. 66% of patients were non-compliant, and this outcome was not affected by sex, age or clinical diagnosis. However, Maori ethnicity was associated with a lower rate of compliance.

INTERPRETATION:

An objective assessment of compliance such as returned vials is much more reliable than compliance based on parental or patient based information. Non-compliance with GH treatment is common, and associated with reduced linear growth. Non-compliance should be considered in all patients with apparently suboptimal response to GH treatment.

PMID:
21305004
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3031542
Free PMC Article
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