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Growth hormone treatment of abdominally obese men reduces abdominal fat mass, improves glucose and lipoprotein metabolism, and reduces diastolic blood pressure.

Journal article
Authors Gudmundur Johannsson
P Mårin
Lars Lönn
Malin Ottosson
Kaj Stenlöf
Per Björntorp
Lars Sjöström
B A Bengtsson
Published in The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Volume 82
Issue 3
Pages 727-34
ISSN 0021-972X
Publication year 1997
Published at Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Respiratory Medicine/Allergology
Institute of Internal Medicine
Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Body Composition and Metabolism
Pages 727-34
Language en
Keywords Adipose Tissue, pathology, Aged, Blood Pressure, drug effects, Body Composition, drug effects, Diastole, Double-Blind Method, Glucose, metabolism, Hormones, blood, Human Growth Hormone, adverse effects, therapeutic use, Humans, Lipids, blood, Lipoproteins, metabolism, Male, Middle Aged, Obesity, blood, drug therapy, radiography, Radiography, Abdominal, Recombinant Proteins, Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Subject categories Endocrinology


The most central findings in both GH deficiency in adults and the metabolic syndrome are abdominal/visceral obesity and insulin resistance. Abdominal obesity is associated with blunted GH secretion and low serum insulin-like growth factor-I concentrations. GH treatment in GH-deficient adults has demonstrated favorable effects on most of the features of GH deficiency in adults, but it is not known whether GH can improve some of the metabolic aberrations observed in abdominal/visceral obesity. Thirty men, 48-66 yr old, with abdominal/visceral obesity were treated with recombinant human GH (rhGH) in a 9-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The daily dose of rhGH was 9.5 micrograms/kg. Body fat was assessed from total body potassium, and abdominal sc and visceral adipose tissue was measured using computed tomography. The glucose disposal rate (GDR) was measured during an euglycemic, hyperinsulinemic glucose clamp. In response to the rhGH treatment, total body fat and abdominal sc and visceral adipose tissue decreased by 9.2 +/- 2.4%, 6.1 +/- 3.2%, and 18.1 +/- 7.6%, respectively. After an initial decrease in the GDR at 6 weeks, the GDR increased in the rhGH-treated group as compared with the placebo-treated one (P < 0.05). The mean serum concentrations of total cholesterol (P < 0.01) and triglyceride (P < 0.05) decreased, whereas blood glucose and serum insulin concentrations were unaffected by the rhGH treatment. Furthermore, diastolic blood pressure decreased and systolic blood pressure was unchanged in response to rhGH treatment. This trial has demonstrated that GH can favorably affect some of the multiple perturbations associated with abdominal/visceral obesity. This includes a reduction in abdominal/visceral obesity, an improved insulin sensitivity, and favorable effects on lipoprotein metabolism and diastolic blood pressure.

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