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Poor Growth Hormone Response Seen in HIV+ Males

More study is needed to determine if growth hormone augmentation is beneficial

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Growth hormone deficiency is common in HIV-infected men with lipodystrophy and fat redistribution, according to a report in the April 4 issue of AIDS. Growth hormone augmentation might reduce cardiovascular risk in this population, although more study is needed, the authors suggest.

To determine the effects of gender, race and fat redistribution on growth hormone secretory patterns in HIV-infected patients, Steven Grinspoon, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) + arginine stimulation test in 135 male and 25 female HIV-infected subjects.

Compared with control subjects and HIV-infected females, HIV-infected men had reduced growth hormone peak responses and increased failure rates to GHRH + arginine testing. Growth hormone responses were poorer in white males and non-white females. In addition, waist-to-hip ratio was found to be the best indicator of treatment response.

"Studies are now underway to determine the effects of physiologic growth hormone augmentation among HIV-infected patients, and whether such a strategy will reduce cardiovascular risk in this population, as has been suggested among non HIV-infected patients with relative truncal adiposity," the authors write.

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