Growth hormone status in morbidly obese subjects and correlation with body composition

S. Savastano, C. Di Somma, A. Belfiore, B. Guida, F. Orio, F. Rota, M. C. Savanelli, T. Cascella, A. Mentone, L. Angrisani, G. Lombardi, A. Colao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Morbidly obese subjects are characterized by multiple endocrine abnormalities and these are paralleled by unfavorable changes in body composition. In obese individuals, either 24-h spontaneous or stimulated GH secretion is impaired without an organic pituitary disease and the severity of the secretory defect is proportional to the degree of obesity. The GHRH+arginine (GHRH+ARG) test is likely to be the overall test of choice in clinical practice to differentiate GH deficiency (GHD) patients. Similarly to other provocative tests, GHRH+ARG is influenced by obesity per se. Therefore, a new cut-off limit of peak GH response of 4.2 μg/l in obese subjects has been recently assumed. The aim of the present study was to investigate the reciprocal influence between decreased GH secretion and body composition in a group of 110 morbidly obese subjects, using the new cut-off limit of peak GH response to GHRH+ARG test for these subjects. In our study, GHD was identified in 27.3% of the obese subjects, without gender difference. In GDH obese subjects body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), fat mass (FM), and resistance (R) were higher while reactance (Xc), phase angle, body cell mass (BCM), IGF-I, or IGF-I z-scores were lower than in normal responders (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-543
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Body composition
  • GH deficiency
  • IGF-I
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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