Background: Studies on 24-hour growth hormone (GH) secretion are rare. The influences of sex, age, and adiposity are well recognized but generally derived from specific, selected subject groups, not spanning sexes, many age decades, and a range of body weights. Objective: Our goal was to investigate GH dynamics in a group of 130 healthy adult subjects, both men and women, across 5 age decades as well as a 2.5-fold range of body mass index (BMI) values. Methods: GH was measured by a sensitive immunofluorometric assay. Secretion parameters were quantified by automated deconvolution and relative pattern randomness by approximate entropy (ApEn). Results: The median age was 40 years (range 20-77). The median BMI was 26 (range 18.3-49.8). Pulsatile 24-hour GH secretion was negatively correlated with age (p = 0.002) and BMI (p < 0.0001). Basal GH secretion negatively correlated with BMI (p = 0.003) but not with age. The sex-dependent GH secretion (greater in women) was no longer detectable after 50 years of age. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels were lower in women over 50 years of age compared with men of a similar age. ApEn showed an age-related increase in both sexes and was higher in premenopausal and postmenopausal women than in men of comparable age (p < 0.0001). A single fasting GH measurement is not informative of 24-hour GH secretion. Conclusions: BMI dominates the negative regulation of 24-hour GH secretion across 5 decades of age in this up till now largest cohort of healthy adults who underwent 24-hour blood sampling. Sex also impacts GH secretion before the age of 50 years as well as its regularity at all ages. Differences in serum IGF-1 partly depend on the pre- or postmenopausal state. Finally, a single GH measurement is not informative of 24-hour GH secretion.
- Approximate entropy
- Body mass index
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience