Growth hormone: Health considerations beyond height gain
The therapeutic benefit of growth hormone (GH) therapy in improving height in short children is widely recognized; however, GH therapy is associated with other metabolic actions that may be of benefit in these children. Beneficial effects of GH on body composition have been documented in several different patient populations as well as improvements in lipid profile. Marked augmentation of bone mineral density also seems evident in many pediatric populations. Some of these benefits may require continued therapy past the acquisition of adult height. With long-term therapy of any kind, the adverse consequences of treatment should also be considered. Fortunately, long-term GH treatment seems to be safe and well-tolerated. This review describes the long-term metabolic effects of GH treatment in the pediatric population and considers how these may benefit children who are treated with GH.
Ross J, Czernichow P, Biller BM, Colao A, Reiter E, Kiess W; advisory panel meeting on the effects of growth hormone. Growth hormone: Health considerations beyond height gain Pediatrics 2010 Apr;125(4):e906-18.