Increased visceral adiposity and cortisol to cortisone ratio in adults with congenital lifetime isolated GH deficiency

Elenilde Gomes-Santos, Roberto Salvatori, Thiago O. Ferrão, Carla R.P. Oliveira, Rachel D.C.A. Diniz, João A.M. Santana, Francisco A. Pereira, Rita A.A. Barbosa, Anita H.O. Souza, Enaldo V. Melo, Carlos C. Epitácio-Pereira, Alécia A. Oliveira-Santos, Ingrid A.S. Oliveira, Julianne A. Machado, Francisco J. Santana-Júnior, José A.S. Barreto-Filho, Manuel H. Aguiar-Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Adult-onset GH deficiency (GHD) increases visceral adiposity and the activity of the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which converts cortisone (E) to cortisol (F), both linked to insulin resistance and increased cardiovascular risk. Conversely, we reported that adults with congenital isolated GHD (IGHD) have increased insulin sensitivity. Copyright

Objective: To assess the type of fat distribution and the amount of visceral and sc fat and to correlate them to the F/E ratio in adults with untreated IGHD due to a mutation in the GHRH receptor gene.

Methods: Body composition was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, thickness of sc and visceral fat was measured by sonography, and serum F and E were measured in 23 IGHD subjects and 21 age-matched controls.

Results: Waist/hip ratio (WHR), trunk fat, and trunk/extremity fat (TR/EXT) ratio were higher in IGHD subjects. Visceral fat index (VFI) (but not sc fat index [SFI]) was higher in IGHD. F and F/E ratio were also higher in IGHD. In all 44 individuals, WHR correlated with TR/EXT ratio, thickness of visceral fat, VFI/SFI ratio, F, and F/E ratio. TR/EXT ratio correlated with visceral fat thickness, VFI/SFI ratio, and F. Age had a significant effect on VFI and on F/E ratio. Body mass index SD score andWHR have a similar significant effect on TR/EXT ratio and on F/E ratio.

Conclusions: Lifetime congenital untreated IGHD causes increased visceral adiposity with a high F/E ratio. However, the increased insulin sensitivity suggests that visceral adiposity needs a minimal GH secretion to translate into increased insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3285-3289
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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