Background Although mounting evidence supports the concept that growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) affects cardiovascular function, no study has systematically investigated its prevalence and role in a large cohort of chronic heart failure (CHF) patients. Aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of GHD in mild-to-moderate CHF and to explore clinical and functional correlates of GHD. Methods One-hundred thirty CHF patients underwent GH provocative test with GHRH+arginine and accordingly categorized into GH-deficiency (GHD, n = 88, age = 61.6±1.1 years, 68% men) and GH-sufficiency (GHS, n = 42, age = 63.6±1.5 years, 81% men) cohorts. Both groups received comprehensive cardiovascular examination and underwent Doppler echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, and biochemical and hormonal assay. Results GHD was detected in roughly 30% of CHF patients. Compared to GHD, GHS patients showed smaller end-diastolic and end-systolic LV volumes (-28%, p = .008 and -24%, p = .015, respectively), lower LV end-systolic wall stress (-21%, p = .03), higher RV performance (+18% in RV area change, p = .03), lower estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure (-11%, p = .04), higher peak VO2 (+20%, p = .001) and increased ventilatory efficiency (-12% in VE/VCO2 slope, p = .002). After adjusting for clinical covariates (age, gender, and tertiles of LV ejection fraction, IGF-1, peak VO2, VE/VCO2 slope, and NT-proBNP), logistic multivariate analysis showed that peak VO2 (β = -1.92, SE = 1.67, p = .03), VE/VCO2 slope (β = 2.23, SE = 1.20, p = .02) and NT-proBNP (β = 2.48, SE = 1.02, p = .016), were significantly associated with GHD status. Finally, compared to GHS, GHD cohort showed higher all-cause mortality at median follow-up of 3.5 years (40% vs. 25%, p < .001, respectively), independent of age, sex, NT-proBNP, peak VO2 and LVEF. Conclusions GH deficiency identifies a subgroup of CHF patients characterized by impaired functional capacity, LV remodeling and elevated NT-proBNP levels. GHD is also associated with increased all-cause mortality. © 2017 Arcopinto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.