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Growth Horm IGF Res. 2018 Aug;41:23-27. doi: 10.1016/j.ghir.2018.06.001. Epub 2018 Jun 4.

Is growth hormone deficiency associated with anxiety disorder and depressive symptoms in children and adolescents?: A case-control study.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Gaziantep Dr. Ersin Arslan Training and Research Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey.
Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Erzurum Training and Research Hospital, Erzurum, Turkey.
University of Health Sciences, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Bakirkoy Dr. Sadi Konuk Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey. Electronic address:
Harran University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Şanlıurfa, Turkey.



Children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) are reported to experience failure in psychological maturation, and to have a lack of self-confidence in social life, and depressive symptoms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between GHD and anxiety disorders and depression in children and adolescents.


122 children and adolescents aged 7-17, 87 receiving GHD therapy and 35 before treatment, and 122 healthy volunteers were included in the study. All participants were evaluated using the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children - Present and Lifetime Version-Turkish Version (K-SADS-PL-T). Diagnoses falling outside this semi-structured interview were made with clinical evaluation based on DSM-V diagnostic criteria. Participants were also assessed using an information form, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAI-C), the Social Anxiety Scale for Children-Revised (SASC-R), and the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), and the results were subjected to statistical analysis.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) were significantly more common in children with GHD compared to the control group (p ≤0.001 and p = 0.033, respectively). Receipt of treatment significantly reduced GAD and SAD rates in the group diagnosed with GHD (p = 0.012, and p = 0.014). Being in receipt of GH therapy also caused a significant decrease in STAIC (State) (p ≤0.001), STAIC (Trait) (p ≤0.001), SASC-R (p ≤0.001), and CDI (p ≤0.001) scale scores. Untreated subjects had more adverse scale scores than treated subjects, and treated subjects had more adverse scale scores than the control group. An increase was observed in all scale scores in the form of control group < treated group < pre-treatment group. IGF and GH-PEAK exhibited moderate negative correlation with STAIC-TRAIT, STAIC-STATE, and SASC-R, and weak negative, significant correlation with CDI (Spearman's rho p ≤0.05).


Having GHD and being in receipt of treatment resulted in lower scale scores. Children with GHD had higher GAD and SAD burdens compared to the healthy controls. The etiology of these children's existing psychiatric diseased now requires identification using more variables in psychosocial and hormonal terms.


Anxiety; Children; Depression; Growth hormone deficiency; Social anxiety

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