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Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2012 May;9 Suppl 2:725-7.

Trends in GH use in a Turner syndrome natural history study.

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  • 1Section on Epigenetics & Development, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


The present observations are derived from 273 girls and women aged 7-40 years participating in the National Institutes of Health natural history study of Turner syndrome (TS) in the interval 2001-2011. There was a higher percentage of GH use among individuals in the pediatric age group (7-17, n = 118, 83%) compared to young adult women with prior GH use (18-40, n = 155, 61%). The major factor in this divergence seems to be a trend toward earlier diagnosis of TS in the younger age group. We find a striking association between history of GH use and lower total body and abdominal fat mass in young adults with TS approximately one decade after discontinuation of GH treatment. The interpretation of this observation is limited by the fact that our study subjects were not randomly assigned to GH treatment. There may be a bias involving poor health care, childhood obesity, delayed diagnosis, absent GH treatment and persistent adult obesity. Further studies on the socioeconomic factors implicated in patterns of GH use and non-use for girls with TS are needed to illuminate this important issue.

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