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Growth hormone cut visceral adiposity, serum cholesterol in HIV patients. (12-Week Results).

BARCELONA, SPAIN -- Twelve weeks of treatment with growth hormone cut visceral adiposity and improved lipid levels in patients infected with HIV, Dr. Donald P. Kotler said at the 14th International AIDS Conference.

To participate in the study, men had to have a waist circumference of more than 88.2 cm, and a waist/hip ratio of more than 0.95. Women had to have a waist circumference of more than 75.3 cm, and a waist/hip ratio of more than 0.9.

Patients were randomized to receive 4 mg of recombinant human growth hormone daily, delivered subcutaneously; 4 mg of growth hormone on alternate days; or placebo. Patients continued to receive anti-HIV treatment and therapies for hyperlipidemia. The year-long study is sponsored by Serono, which makes recombinant human growth hormone.

In an interim, 12-week analysis, changes in visceral adipose tissue were assessed on CT scans in 239 subjects. The 82 patients on daily growth hormone injections lost a mean of 3.3 kg of visceral fat, compared with a mean loss of 1.8 kg among 79 patients who received alternate-day injections, and a mean loss of 0.3 kg among the 78 patients given placebo, said Dr. Kotler, chief of gastroenterology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Medical Center in New York.

In patients given daily growth hormone injections, total serum cholesterol excluding HDL cholesterol fell from a baseline mean of 178 mg/dL to 157 mg/dL, a statistically significant decline. Patients in the placebo and alternate-day groups had no significant change in cholesterol levels.

The study will next test low-dose maintenance therapy Daily treatment with 4-mg doses of growth hormone would cost more than $1,000 a week based on the drug's average wholesale price.
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Author:Zoler, Mitchel L.
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 15, 2002
Words:286
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