Pharmacological treatment of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in adults began in clinical practice more than 20 years ago. Since then, a great volume of experience has been accumulated on its effects on the symptoms and biochemical alterations that characterize this hormonal deficiency. The effects on body composition, muscle mass and strength, exercise capacity, glucose and lipid profile, bone metabolism, and quality of life have been fully demonstrated. The advance of knowledge has also taken place in the biological and molecular aspects of the action of this hormone in patients who have completed longitudinal growth. In recent years, several epidemiological studies have reported interesting information about the long-term effects of GH replacement therapy in regard to the possible induction of neoplasms and the potential development of diabetes. In addition, GH hormone receptor polymorphism could potentially influence GH therapy. Long-acting GH are under development to create a more convenient GH dosing profile, while retaining the excellent safety, efficacy, and tolerability of daily GH. In this article we compile the most recent data of GH replacement therapy in adults, as well as the molecular aspects that may condition a different sensitivity to this treatment.
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