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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1997 Feb;45(2):133-9.

Association of insulin-like growth factor-I with body composition, weight history, and past health behaviors in the very old: the Framingham Heart Study.

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National Institute on Aging, Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry Program, Bethesda, MD 20892-9205, USA.



We examined correlates of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), an indicator of growth hormone levels, to identify factors associated with higher levels of IGF-I in old age.


Nested study of cross-sectional correlates and early-life predictors of IGF-I level.


A longitudinal cohort study, the Framingham Heart Study.


A total of 790 men and women (mean age 78.5, range 72-94), who had weight, waist and hip circumferences measured at the time of IGF-I measurement.


Association of IGF-I with weight, fat distribution, functional status, nutritional indicators, and past health behaviors was assessed. We also examined IGF-I in relation to body composition derived from dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.


IGF-I levels declined with age in both men and women. However, low IGF-I did not show expected associations with low lean mass and increased body fat. Current functional status and grip strength were not associated with IGF-I Low IGF-I was associated with weight loss in men; the strongest associations were with indicators of poorer nutritional status in both men and women. Levels of IGF-I in old age did not vary by past health behaviors.


Although IGF-I declined with age, these data from the Framingham Heart Study did not show expected cross-sectional associations of weight, body fat, and lean mass. The strongest associations were between IGF-I and nutritional indicators. These results suggest caution may be warranted with regard to use of IGF-I as an indicator of growth hormone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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