Relationship between age, percentage body fat, fitness, and 24-hour growth hormone release in healthy young adults: Effects of gender

A. Weltman, J. Y. Weltman, M. L. Hartman, R. D. Abbott, A. D. Rogol, W. S. Evans, Johannes D Veldhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigated whether gender affects the physiological relationships between the release of GH and age, body composition, and levels of physical fitness in humans. We studied 32 eumenorrheic females (age = 31 ± 5 yr) and 12 males (age = 27 ± 5 yr). Significant gender differences were found for peak oxygen consumption [VO2 peak = 40.5 ± 6.9 (females) vs. 50.1 ± 11.6 (males) ml/kg.min-1, P < 0.05] and body composition [hydrostatic weighing, percentage body fat = 28.7 ± 5.4 (females) vs. 18.1 ± 9.8 (males), P < 0.05] but not for body mass index [BMI = 23.7 ± 3.1 (females) vs. 24.0 ± 3.3 (males)]. Blood samples were drawn every 10 min for 24 h from 0800 h to determine integrated serum GH concentration [2350 ± 1260 (females) vs. 3110 ± 1760 (males) μg/L x min]; females were studied during the early follicular phase (days 4-5) of the menstrual cycle. In females, a significant relationship existed between 24-h integrated serum GH concentration and age (r = -0.35, P = 0.05) but not BMI (r = -0.19, P = 0.29); the relationship between 24-h integrated serum GH concentration and VO2 peak (r = 0.31, P = 0.08) and percentage body fat (r = 0.29, P = 0.11) approached significance. In males, significant relationships existed between 24-h integrated serum GH concentration and age (r = -0.79, P = 0.002), percentage body fat (r = -0.75, P = 0.005), and VO2 peak (r = 0.58, P = 0.05) but not between 24-h integrated serum GH concentration and BMI (r = -0.53, P = 0.08). Standardized regression coefficients revealed that for each SD change in age, BMI, percentage body fat, or VO2 peak the associated change in 24-h integrated serum GH concentration was 1.9-2.6 times greater in males than in females. We conclude that age, percentage body fat (but not BMI), and fitness are related to 24-h GH release in young adults and that these relationships are considerably stronger in males than females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-548
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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