The influence of growth hormone (GH) substitution on patient-reported outcomes and cognitive functions in GH-deficient patients: a meta-analysis: a meta-analysis

L.I. Arwert, J.B. Deijen, J. Witlox, M.L. Drent

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Objective: The influence of growth hormone (GH) replacement on patient-reported outcomes (i.e., quality of life, health status and well-being) and cognitive functioning in GH-deficient adults is controversial. Design: We carried out a meta-analysis of clinical trials concerning the influence of GH substitution on patient-reported outcomes and cognitive functions (studies were selected from 1985 to 2004). The results of individual studies were combined in a series of meta-analyses using a random effects model. Effects of GH replacement in GH-deficient adults were compared to baseline and/or placebo. Results: Fifteen studies on GH and patient-reported outcomes were included (830 patients, follow-up 3-50 months). Four of these studies also provided data on cognitive functions (85 patients, follow-up 6-12 months). Relative to baseline, GH treatment is found to have a large effect on patient-reported outcomes at 3 months, a medium effect at 6 months and a small effect at 12 months. With respect to the median treatment duration of 6 months placebo appears to be as effective as GH substitution. Cognitive functioning does not improve after 6 months of GH substitution, relative to baseline. Conclusion: This meta-analysis provides no evidence that GH improves patient-reported outcomes in GH-deficient patients. As the amount of cognitive data was too limited to allow for comparisons with placebo, from the present meta-analysis no conclusions can be drawn with respect to the impact of GH treatment on cognition. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalGrowth Hormone and IGF Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition/drug effects
  • Growth Hormone/deficiency
  • Human Growth Hormone/deficiency
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Placebos
  • Quality of Life
  • Somatomedins/metabolism
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

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