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Study: growth hormone-deficient young adults need larger replacement doses than older adults

and also a dose that was half that large," Underwood said. "The 25 microgram dose is about half of what is used in children."

The medical scientists studied 39 men and 25 women, all under age 35, and looked especially at what happened to their bone mineral density, depending on whether or not they received growth hormone and how much.

"Compared with the placebo group, patients who got 12.5 micrograms showed better bone mineral density after two years," Underwood said. "Those who received 25 micrograms per kilogram daily showed an even greater and more sustained effect."

Both growth hormone-treated groups had similar changes in body composition at six months -- decreased fat and increased lean mass -- but some improvements were later lost in the lower-dose group, he said.

"A significant decrease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is believed to be bad for a person's health, was seen only in the higher growth hormone dose group," Underwood said. "We did not observe significant changes in quality of life or echocardiograph measures."

Adverse effects among study groups were about the same except that the hormone-treated groups showed more swelling, a common side effect of such treatment in adults, he said.

Genentech supported the research. Collaborating institutions in the United States included Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Kansas Medical Center, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Oregon Health Sciences University, Stanford University and the universities of California at Los Angeles and Michigan. Canadian institutions included Children's Hospital in Winnipeg, Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, Central University Hospital in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the Research Center of Hotel-Dieu of Montreal and Central Hospital of Laval University in Ste.-Foy, Quebec.

In the 1970s, Dr. Judson J. Van Wyk, Underwood and UNC colleagues purified a compound known as IGF-1 and developed an assay fo
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Contact: David Williamson
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
5-Nov-2003


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