This review describes the positive effects of growth hormone (GH) on the cardiovascular system. We analyze why the vascular endothelium is a real internal secretion gland, whose inflammation is the first step for developing atherosclerosis, as well as the mechanisms by which GH acts on vessels improving oxidative stress imbalance and endothelial dysfunction. We also report how GH acts on coronary arterial disease and heart failure, and on peripheral arterial disease, inducing a neovascularization process that finally increases flow in ischemic tissues. We include some preliminary data from a trial in which GH or placebo is given to elderly people suffering from critical limb ischemia, showing some of the benefits of the hormone on plasma markers of inflammation, and the safety of GH administration during short periods of time, even in diabetic patients. We also analyze how Klotho is strongly related to GH, inducing, after being released from the damaged vascular endothelium, the pituitary secretion of GH, most likely to repair the injury in the ischemic tissues. We also show how GH can help during wound healing by increasing the blood flow and some neurotrophic and growth factors. In summary, we postulate that short-term GH administration could be useful to treat cardiovascular diseases.
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