The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is increasing worldwide. The untreated metabolic syndrome places individuals at risk both for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Adult GH deficiency syndrome present some of the 5 features of the metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, elevations of blood glucose, hypertension and a 2-fold higher risk of death for CD compared with controls. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among adult hypopituitaric patients with GHD. Follow-up was undertaken of 100 GHD hypopituitaric adult patients. Testing included fasting insulin, glucose, lipids and GHRH+ARG test and IGF-I. The results were compared with population norms from 19902000 of Osservatorio Epidemiologico Cardiovascolare (OEC) data. The patient and control age range was 3574 years. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was significantly higher in patients than in population controls (35% vs. 23%, χ2=7.35; P=0.007). In particular hypertension was found in 41% of patients and in 32% of controls (P<0.05), hyperglycaemia in 14% of patients and 7.5% of controls (P=0.02) and hypertrygliceridemia in 52% of patients and 23.6% of controls (P=0.000).
In conclusion, adult GHD hypopituitaryc patients have a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome when compared to normal populations. Thus, these patients should be carefully monitored for cardiovascular and diabetes risk profiles. Whether GH replacement therapy could reduce this risk remains to be established.