Could Older Women With Osteoporosis Benefit From Growth Hormones?

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The findings are based on 80 women with osteoporosis who were randomly assigned to take daily injections of either growth hormone or a placebo for 18 months.
The findings are based on 80 women with osteoporosis who were randomly assigned to take daily injections of either growth hormone or a placebo for 18 months.

HealthDay News -- Older women with osteoporosis may benefit from a few years on growth hormone, a new, small trial suggests. The results were reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The findings are based on 80 women with osteoporosis who were randomly assigned to take daily injections of either growth hormone or a placebo for 18 months. After that, the hormone group continued on the treatment for another 18 months. All of the women took calcium and vitamin D.

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The team also compared the study group with a random sample of 223 women the same age who did not initially have osteoporosis. Over 10 years, the rate of bone fracture in that group rose from 8 to 32%. In contrast, the study patients saw their fracture rate drop by half over time -- from 56 to 28%.

"It's unlikely," lead researcher Emily Krantz, MD, of Södra Älvsborgs Hospital in Borås, Sweden, acknowledged to HealthDay, "that it will be used [for osteoporosis] in the foreseeable future, because the treatment is so expensive and has to be overseen by a specialist clinic." Krantz said her team has no plans for a larger trial, but will keep following the patients who've already received growth hormone.

Reference

1. Krantz E et al. JCEM. 2015; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2015-1757.

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