Low urinary GH levels in normal statured obese children

A. Sartorio, A. Conti, S. Ferrero

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Urinary GH (u-GH) levels were evaluated in 240 children (age range 5-14 years; 136 M, 104F) of normal height (25 - 90th centile); 165 children were defined as 'non-obese' (body mass index (BMI) <75th centile for their chronological age (CA)) and 75 as 'obese' (BMI > 75th). U-GH levels were determined using a two-site enzyme immunometric assay and calculated as the mean obtained from the values of three consecutive first morning voiding; results were expressed as both u-GH concentration (ng l -1 and ng night -1) was explained by BMI (coefficient: - 0.72, p <0.0001 and coefficient: - 0.10, p <0.001, respectively) and chronological age (coefficient: 1.03, p <0.01 and coefficient: 0.27, p <0.001, respectively), whereas sex and pubertal stage did not add significance to the variance. In obese children, mean u-GH concentration and u-GH excretion (per night) levels were significantly lower than those recorded in non-obese children both before and during puberty. A similar trend towards higher u-GH levels atg puberty was found in non-obese and obese children. In conclusion, our study shows that u-GH levels are (a) related to CA and BMI in the general population and (b) significantly lower in obese than in non-obese children, in spite of their comparable normal height. the measurement of u-GH excretion in the assessment of children with short stature needs to take into consideration the role of marked ponderal excess, which is associated 'per se' with significantly lower u-GH levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-898
Number of pages5
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Body mass index
  • Obesity
  • Urinary GH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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