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July 23/30, 2003

Use of Growth Hormone in Elderly Individuals

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(4):462. doi:10.1001/jama.290.4.462-a

To the Editor: Dr Blackman and colleagues1 found that administration of growth hormone (GH) to elderly men and women increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass, but that it also was associated with a high frequency of adverse effects. Their GH dose of 90 mg, however, far exceeds the usual dose of 18 to 33 mg that is commonly used in clinical practice.2 It is not surprising that a large number of patients experienced adverse effects while receiving this higher dose. My practice has treated more than 100 patients with GH therapy and only 1% to 2% have been found to have increased levels of blood glucose. In my experience, any increase in levels of glycohemoglobin that might occur from GH therapy quickly corrects when the dose is lowered.

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