Pubertal alterations in growth and body composition: IX. Altered spontaneous secretion and metabolic clearance of growth hormone in overweight youth

James N. Roemmich, Pamela A. Clark, Arthur Weltman, Johannes D. Veldhuis, Alan D. Rogol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Deconvolution analysis was used to determine 12-hour spontaneous nocturnal growth hormone (GH) secretion and GH half-life in lean (body mass index, <85th percentile; n = 39) and overweight (body mass index, ≥85th percentile; n = 18) youth. The integrated GH concentration, GH burst mass, and half-life were lower (P < .05) in overweight than in lean youth. For each unit increase in percentage of body fat, integrated serum GH concentrations, secretory burst mass, and half-life declined by 83.6 μg/L per minute (r = -0.39, P < .01), 0.22 μg/L (r = -0.28, P < .05), and 0.2 minute (r = -0.38, P < .01), respectively. The effect of overweight on GH secretion was independent of pubertal status. Hierarchical regression models tested the hypothesis that altered GH secretion in youth is more related to total adiposity than abdominal visceral fat. When age, sex, fat-free mass, testosterone, and estradiol were held constant, the sequential addition of abdominal visceral fat did not increase R2 for any GH secretion variable. Sequential addition of percentage of body fat increased R2 (P < .05) for integrated GH concentration, total secretory rate, secretory burst mass, and pulsatile production rate. We conclude that serum GH concentrations are reduced in overweight youth primarily because of reduced GH burst mass with no change in the number of secretory events and secondarily to reduced GH half-life. Based on the model that GH-releasing hormone predominantly increases GH pulse amplitude whereas somatostatin primarily controls GH pulse frequency, these results suggest that overweight in youth diminishes GH-releasing hormone stimulation resulting in truncated GH bursts but does not alter the number of somatostatin withdrawal intervals so that GH burst frequency is conserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1374-1383
Number of pages10
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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