Effects of GH and/or sex steroid administration on abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat in healthy aged women and men

Thomas Münzer, S. Mitchell Harman, Paul Hees, Ed Shapiro, Colleen Christmas, Michele F. Bellantoni, Thomas E. Stevens, Kieran G. O'Connor, Katherine M. Pabst, Carol St. Clair, John D. Sorkin, Marc R. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aging is associated with reduced GH, IGF-I, and sex steroid axis activity and with increased abdominal fat. We employed a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, noncrossover design to study the effects of 6 months of administration of GH alone (20 μg/kg BW), sex hormone alone (hormone replacement therapy in women, testosterone enanthate in men), or GH + sex hormone on total abdominal area, abdominal sc fat, and visceral fat in 110 healthy women (n = 46) and men (n = 64), 65-88 yr old (mean, 72 yr). GH administration increased IGF-I levels in women (P = 0.05) and men (P = 0.0001), with the increment in IGF-I levels being higher in men (P = 0.05). Sex steroid administration increased levels of estrogen and testosterone in women and men, respectively (P = 0.05). In women, neither GH, hormone replacement therapy, nor GH + hormone replacement therapy altered total abdominal area, sc fat, or visceral fat significantly. In contrast, in men, administration of GH and GH + testosterone enanthate decreased total abdominal area by 3.9% and 3.8%, respectively, within group and vs. placebo (P = 0.05). Within-group comparisons revealed that sc fat decreased by 10% (P = 0.01) after GH, and by 14% (P = 0.0005) after GH + testosterone enanthate. Compared with placebo, sc fat decreased by 14% (P = 0.05) after GH, by 7% (P = 0.05) after testosterone enanthate, and by 16% (P = 0.0005) after GH + testosterone enanthate. Compared with placebo, visceral fat did not decrease significantly after administration of GH, testosterone enanthate, or GH + testosterone enanthate. These data suggest that in healthy older individuals, GH and/or sex hormone administration elicits a sexually dimorphic response on sc abdominal fat. The generally proportionate reductions we observed in sc and visceral fat, after 6 months of GH administration in healthy aged men, contrast with the disproportionate reduction of visceral fat reported after a similar period of GH treatment of nonelderly GH deficient men and women. Whether longer term administration of GH or testosterone enanthate, alone or in combination, will reduce abdominal fat distribution-related cardiovascular risk in healthy older men remains to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3604-3610
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume86
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of GH and/or sex steroid administration on abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat in healthy aged women and men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this