OBJECTIVES: Growth hormone (GH) deficiency in adults is associated with a higher risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. It has recently been suggested that enhanced oxidative stress may be implicated in vascular (and probably other) disturbances, occurring in GH-deficient subjects. The aim of the study was to evaluate serum levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO) products in adult patients with severe GH deficiency during insulin tolerance test (ITT), and to estimate the relationships between LPO and GH, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and other parameters of metabolic processes.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twelve adult patients with severe GH deficiency hospitalized in our department and 12 healthy volunteers, matched for sex, age and body mass index (BMI), were enrolled in the study. Peripheral blood was collected during ITT. The concentrations of malondialdehyde + 4-hydroxyalkenals (MDA+4-HDA), as an index of LPO, were measured in blood serum.
RESULTS: Serum LPO level was approximately twice as high in GH-deficient patients as in the controls at each time point of ITT. A positive correlation was found between bone mineral density in the lumbar spine and GH concentration in GH-deficient patients. A positive correlation was found between LPO and BMI in the controls, but no such correlation was observed in GH-deficient patients.
CONCLUSION: The increased LPO in GH-deficient patients may indicate enhanced oxidative stress within the vascular compartment and, possibly, in other tissues, which may contribute to the proatherogenic state and corresponding organ disturbances in GH-deficient patients, independently from conventional risk factors.