The availability of synthetic recombinant human growth hormone (GH) in potentially unlimited quantities since the 1980s has improved understanding of the many nonstatural effects of GH on metabolism, body composition, physical and psychological function, as well as the consequences of GH deficiency in adult life. Adult GH deficiency is now recognized as a distinct if nonspecific syndrome with considerable adverse health consequences. GH replacement therapy in lower doses than those used in children can reverse many of these abnormalities and restore functional capacities toward or even to normal; if dosed appropriately, GH therapy has few adverse effects. Although some doubts remain about possible long-term risks of childhood GH therapy, most registries of adult GH replacement therapy, albeit limited in study size and duration, have not shown an increased incidence of cancers or of cardiovascular morbidity or mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism