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Stroke Risk and Growth Hormone Treatment in Childhood

A study published in the journal Neurology(1) has reported an increased risk of stroke in "low risk" patients treated with growth hormone. This report is based on a single national cohort study which had previously identified health risks which could not be substantiated in similar international cohorts.(2, 3)

ESPE is awaiting the results of a much larger, more detailed pan-European study to clarify many of the recently reported health risks such as strokes apparently associated with growth hormone treatment in children, and for guidance from the European Medicines Agency, but at the present time, and with full international agreement, ESPE believes that patients and parents may continue growth hormone treatment safely. Individual queries should be discussed with the responsible clinician.

  1. Poidvin A, Touzé E, Ecosse E, Landier F, Béjot Y, Giroud M, Rothwell PM, Carel JC, Coste J. Growth hormone treatment for childhood short stature and risk of stroke in early adulthood. Neurology 2014 Aug 13
  2. Carel JC, Ecosse E, Landier F, Meguellati-Hakkas D, Kaguelidou F, Rey G, Coste J. Long-term mortality after recombinant growth hormone treatment for isolated growth hormone deficiency or childhood short stature: preliminary report of the French SAGhE study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012; 97:416-425.
  3. Sävendahl L, Maes M, Albertsson-Wikland K, Borgström B, Carel JC, Henrard S, Speybroeck N, Thomas M, Zandwijken G, Hokken-Koelega A. Long-term mortality and causes of death in isolated GHD, ISS, and SGA patients treated with recombinant growth hormone during childhood in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Sweden: preliminary report of 3 countries participating in the EU SAGhE study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012; 97:E213-217.