Adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is being recognized increasingly and has been thought to be associated with premature mortality. Pituitary tumors are the commonest cause for AGHD. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) has been associated with neuropsychiatric-cognitive, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, metabolic, and skeletal abnormalities.

  • Changes in memory, processing speed and attention
  • Lack of well-being
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of strength
  • Fibromyalgia syndrome
  • Neuromuscular dysfunction
  • Central adiposity
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Decreased bone density
  • Impaired cardiac function
  • Decreased insulin sensitivity
  • Increased low-density lipoprotein
  • Prothrombotic state
  • Decreased sweating and thermoregulation
  • Accelerated atherogenesis with increased carotid intima–media thickness

Most of these issues can be addressed with growth hormone therapy. Growth hormone is administered subcutaneously once-a-day, titrated to clinical symptoms, signs and IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor-1). It is generally well tolerated at the low-doses used in adults.