Bone Mineral Density After Cessation of GH Treatment in Young Adults Born SGA: A 5-Year Longitudinal Study

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Abstract

Context:

Short children born small for gestational age (SGA) have below-average bone mineral density (BMD). Growth hormone (GH) treatment improves height and BMD in short SGA children. Longitudinal data on BMD in adults born SGA, after GH cessation (GH-stop), are lacking.

Objective:

To determine BMD in young adults born SGA during 5 years after GH-stop.

Methods:

In 173 GH-treated adults born SGA (SGA-GH), BMD of total body (BMDTB) and bone mineral apparent density of lumbar spine (BMADLS) were measured longitudinally at adult height (AH) and 6 months, 2 years, and 5 years thereafter. At 5 years after GH-stop (age 21 years), data were compared with 45 untreated short SGA adults (SGA-S), 59 SGA adults with spontaneous catch-up (SGA-CU), and 81 adults born appropriate for gestational age (AGA).

Results:

At GH-stop (mean age 16.4 years), estimated mean (standard error) BMDTB standard deviation score (SDS) was -0.40 (0.1) in males and -0.51 (0.1) in females, followed by a trend toward a decrease of BMDTB in males to -0.59 (0.1) at 5 years after GH-stop (P = 0.06), whereas it remained stable in females [-0.57 (0.1); P = 0.33]. At GH-stop, BMADLS SDS was -0.01 (0.1) in males and -0.29 (0.1) in females, followed by a decrease in males and females to -0.38 and -0.55, respectively, at 5 years after GH-stop (P < 0.001). At 5 years after GH-stop, BMDTB and BMADLS in SGA-GH were similar compared with SGA-S, SGA-CU, and AGA.

Conclusion:

After GH-stop, there is a gradual decline of BMADLS, but at the age of 21 years, BMDTB and BMADLS are similar as in untreated short SGA adults.

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