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Arterioscler Thromb. 1993 Feb;13(2):296-301.

Growth hormone treatment of growth hormone-deficient adults results in a marked increase in Lp(a) and HDL cholesterol concentrations.

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Department of Physiology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


The effects of growth hormone treatment of adults with adult-onset pituitary insufficiency on lipoproteins and apolipoproteins were investigated. Nine patients, one women and eight men (age range, 34-58 years), who had been treated for pituitary tumors were studied. They had complete pituitary insufficiency with a duration of at least 1 year. All patients received replacement therapy with thyroid hormones, glucocorticoids, and gonadal steroids. The study had a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design for active treatment with recombinant human growth hormone (0.25-0.5 units/kg per week s.c. given each evening) for 6 months. Fasting serum levels of cholesterol; triglycerides; high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein cholesterol; apolipoproteins A-I, B, and E; and lipoprotein (a) were measured before and after 6 and 26 weeks of treatment. Lipoprotein (a) concentrations increased markedly during treatment and were about twice as high compared with pretreatment levels. Serum cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were decreased after 6 weeks of treatment, but levels had returned to pretreatment levels after 26 weeks. High density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations increased during treatment and were significantly higher than pretreatment levels after 26 weeks of treatment. Serum triglyceride concentrations did not change significantly, but in two patients with marked hypertriglyceridemia, growth hormone treatment resulted in a marked decrease. Serum concentrations of apolipoproteins A-I, B, and E did not change significantly, but changes in apolipoprotein A-I and B concentrations were in parallel to those observed for high density lipoprotein cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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