Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Growth Hormone Reduces Abdominal Fat, Cardiovascular Risk In HIV Patients On Antiviral Therapy

Date:
August 6, 2008
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Low-dose growth hormone treatment reduced abdominal fat deposits and improved blood pressure and triglyceride levels in a group of patients with HIV lipodystrophy -- a condition involving the redistribution of fat and other metabolic changes in patients receiving combination drug therapy for HIV infection -- but growth hormone treatment also appeared to increase blood glucose levels, particularly in those already exhibiting glucose intolerance.

Low-dose growth hormone treatment reduced abdominal fat deposits and improved blood pressure and triglyceride levels in a group of patients with HIV lipodystrophy, a condition involving the redistribution of fat and other metabolic changes in patients receiving combination drug therapy for HIV infection. However, growth hormone treatment appeared to increase blood glucose levels, particularly in those already exhibiting glucose intolerance. The study from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) appears in the Aug.. 6 Journal of the American Medical Association, a special issue on HIV/AIDS.

Related Articles


"This study tells us that a rationally dosed growth hormone regimen does a pretty good job of improving several risk factors for cardiovascular disease in patients who develop this syndrome while taking antiretroviral drugs. But growth hormone therapy may be limited by its effects on glucose levels," says Steven Grinspoon, MD, of the MGH Neuroendocrine Unit and Program in Nutritional Metabolism, the report's senior author.

A significant number of HIV-infected individuals receiving antiviral therapy develop lipodystrophy – symptoms of which include excess fat deposits in the abdomen, a loss of subcutaneous fat in the face and extremities, increases in cholesterol and other blood lipids, and insulin resistance. Previous research has shown that growth hormone secretion is reduced in substantial number of those with the syndrome. High doses of growth hormone did reduce lipodystrophy symptoms in earlier studies, but they also had significant, negative side effects.

The current study was designed to investigate whether a low-dose strategy, designed to produce naturally occuring growth hormone levels, would be safer. It also enrolled only individuals with HIV lipodystrophy in whom relative growth hormone deficiency was documented, a specification not included in earlier studies. Fifty-five such patients enrolled in the 18-month, double-blinded study. Participants self-administered daily injections, with about half receiving growth hormone and the rest a placebo. Growth hormone levels were monitored several times during the study by physicians not involved in evaluating the study results, and dosage levels were adjusted to bring blood levels close to normal. Parallel changes were made in both groups, so that participants did not know whether they were receiving growth hormone or a placebo.

At the end of the study period, participants receiving growth hormone had significant reductions in abdominal fat deposits and increases in lean body mass, compared with the control group. Levels of insulin-like growth factor-1, which rises in response to blood levels of growth hormone, increased in participants receiving treatment; and triglyceride levels dropped, as did diastolic blood pressure. One test of glucose levels showed significantly elevated blood sugar in participants receiving growth hormone, particularly in those who exhibited glucose intolerance at the study's outset. However, since another test that reflects long-term glucose control did not have worse results in the growth hormone group, the overall effect on blood sugar levels was unclear.

"Low-dose growth hormone may be an effective and safe treatment for those whose glucose tolerance is normal and not for individuals with impaired glucose tolerance," Grinspoon explains. "In an earlier study, our group showed that treatment with a drug that induces the release of growth hormone significantly decreases abdominal fat without increasing glucose levels. More work needs to be done to determine which strategy is appropriate for particular patients, as well as clarifying the role of lifestyle changes and eventually identifying new antiretroviral drugs that do not cause these metabolic abnormalities."

Grinspoon is a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The lead author of the JAMA article is Janet Lo, MD, MMSc, and additional co-authors are Sung Min You, Bridget Canavan, MD, James Liebau, ANP, Greg Beltrani, and Polyxeni Koutkia, MD, all of the MGH Neuroendocrine Unit and Program in Nutritional Metabolism; Hang Lee, PhD, MGH Biostatistics; and Linda Hemphill, MD, Boston Heart Foundation. The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Growth Hormone Reduces Abdominal Fat, Cardiovascular Risk In HIV Patients On Antiviral Therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100308.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2008, August 6). Growth Hormone Reduces Abdominal Fat, Cardiovascular Risk In HIV Patients On Antiviral Therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100308.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Growth Hormone Reduces Abdominal Fat, Cardiovascular Risk In HIV Patients On Antiviral Therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100308.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins