Background. Elevated serum total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides (TG) are risk factors for atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease. Adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is associated with elevated TC and TG. Many treatment protocols for AGHD use relatively high doses of growth hormone (GH) given at low frequency, which is associated with increased incidences of edema, joint pains, and carpal tunnel syndrome. We have treated > 2200 patients using a low-dose high frequency (LDHF) dosing regimen of GH which results in similar beneficial subjective responses, and fewer of the side-effects associated with the higher-dosage treatment at a substantial cost savings. Clinically, in addition to increased insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), we observed lower TG and TC levels and no elevation of prostate specific antigen levels in treated patients.
Methods. A retrospective analysis of IGF-I, TG, TC, and PSA data from our patient population was performed to test our hypothesis that positive objective responses of IGF-I, TG, and TC occur and that elevation of PSA does not occur in response to LDHF dosing regimen of GH. The mean duration of treatment of the analyzed data ranged from 181 to 259 days.
Results. The mean plasma IGF-I level rose significantly (p<.00001) to a level 37% greater than baseline with treatment. TC and TG decreased significantly (p<.001) in those patients with elevated baseline values, and did not change significantly in those with normal baseline values. PSA concentrations decreased non-significantly during treatment, and few cases of edema, joint pain, or carpal tunnel were reported.
Conclusions. Treatment of AGHD using the LDHF dosing regimen of GH resulted in significant increases in IGF-I, significant reductions in TC and TG levels in patients with elevated baseline values, no increase in PSA concentrations, and fewer side effects than other dosing regimens.