Researchers have claimed that people who are receiving growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy are more at risk of developing diabetes. The study, on over 5,000 patients with severe adult-onset GH deficiency, examined data on their HbA1c values, plasma glucose, lipid and insulin-like growth factor I concentrations and serum IGF-I measurements. It was shown that those being treated for growth hormone deficiency were more likely to suffer from diabetes.
The research revealed that 523 of the patients had developed diabetes after an average of 1.7 years, and were generally older, and had higher BMI, waist circumference and triglyceride concentrations, as well as having higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure and lower HDL cholesterol.
The incidence of diabetes was 2.6 per 100 patient-years, a reduction from the 4.1 per 100 patient-years for the first year of GH replacement therapy, and to 1 per 100 patient-years once they had received treatment for the condition for at least eight years.
The report stated “Despite widely demonstrated benefits of growth hormone replacement treatment in adult growth hormone deficiency, a marked increase in the risk of developing diabetes must be considered.”
It was added “All patients, but particularly those with an adverse risk profile, should be carefully followed regarding parameters of glucose metabolism.”

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