Context: Growth hormone (GH) has been approved for children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and significantly improves body composition in adults with PWS. Adults with PWS are predisposed to develop impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and diabetes mellitus type 2 (DMT2). Continuation of GH maintains body composition, but GH is known to induce insulin resistance, which might affect glucose homeostasis. Studies on long-term effects of GH treatment in adults are very limited. Objective: To investigate effects of 3 years of GH treatment on glucose homeostasis and prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in adults with PWS. Design: Open-label, prospective study. Patients: 43 young adults with PWS. Setting: Dutch PWS Reference Center. Main outcome measures: Glucose and insulin during oral glucose tolerance test. Results: Estimated mean (95% CI) fasting glucose and insulin levels remained stable during 3 years of GH treatment. Glucose being 4.6 (4.4-4.8) mmol/l at start and 4.7 (4.6-4.9) mmol/l after 3 years (P =.07); insulin being 59.5 (45.2-75.8) pmol/l and 56.7 (45.2-69.6) pmol/l resp. (P =.72). Sex, ethnicity and fat mass percentage were significantly associated with fasting glucose levels, while IGF-I or GH-dose were not. Blood pressure, lipids and prevalence of MS remained stable during 3 years of GH. IGT prevalence was variable over time, six patients had IGT at start and eleven after 3 years of GH. One patient developed DMT2. However, prevalence of IGT or DMT2 was not significantly higher after 3 years than at study start. Conclusions: Three years of GH treatment in adults with PWS does not impair glucose homeostasis and does not lead to an increased prevalence of DMT2.

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Clinical Endocrinology
Department of Pediatrics

Damen, L., Grootjen, L.N. (Lionne N.), Donze, S., Juriaans, A.F. (Alicia F.), de Graaff, L., van der Velden, J.A.E.M. (Janielle A.E.M.), & Hokken-Koelega, A. (2020). Three years of growth hormone treatment in young adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome previously treated with growth hormone in childhood: Effects on glucose homeostasis and metabolic syndrome. Clinical Endocrinology. doi:10.1111/cen.14274