The Effect of Growth Hormone Treatment on Physical Performance Indices in Children With Idiopathic Short Stature

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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  • 1 Tel Aviv University
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Purpose: To examine the effect of growth hormone (GH) treatment on physical performance in children with idiopathic short stature and normal GH secretion. Materials and Methods: A total of 24 children participated in the study (13 GH-treated, 11 non-treated, aged 8–13 y, 11 males and 13 females, Tanner stage 1–2). Participants performed a battery of motor skill performance tests (Eurofit), as well as the Wingate anaerobic test. Results: No statistically significant differences in any of the Eurofit physical fitness test results (eg, 20-m shuttle run 33.0 [15.1] vs 25.1 [21.0] laps in treated and nontreated participants, respectively, P = .25) or the Wingate anaerobic test were found between the groups (eg, peak power 5.0 [2.9] vs 3.9 [2.6] watts/kg in treated and nontreated participants, respectively, P = .2). Conclusions: Therapeutic usage of exogenous GH for pre and early pubertal children with idiopathic short stature and normal GH secretion was not associated with beneficial effects on physical performance indices. This suggests that the use of GH as a potential performance enhancing agent, in this age group, at least at commonly used doses, is not advantageous.

The authors are with the Child Health and Sports Center, Pediatric Endocrinology, Meir Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Nemet (dan.nemet@clalit.org.il, dnemet@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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