, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 497–506 | Cite as

Effects of growth hormone on hepatic insulin sensitivity and glucose effectiveness in healthy older adults

  • Lala Forrest
  • Caroline Sedmak
  • Shanaz Sikder
  • Shivraj Grewal
  • S. Mitchell Harman
  • Marc R. Blackman
  • Ranganath MuniyappaEmail author
Original Article



Growth hormone (GH) replacement decreases insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals. However, the effects of GH on organ-specific insulin sensitivity and glucose effectiveness are not well characterized. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of GH administration for 26 weeks on muscle and hepatic insulin sensitivity and glucose effectiveness in healthy older individuals.


This report is from a 26-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-group trial in healthy, ambulatory, community-dwelling older women and men. We compared surrogate indices of insulin sensitivity [quantitative insulin-sensitivity check index (QUICKI), muscle insulin sensitivity index (MISI), hepatic insulin resistance index (HIRI)] and glucose effectiveness [oral glucose effectiveness index (oGE)] derived from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) in subjects before and after 26 weeks of administration of GH (n = 17) or placebo (n = 15) as an exploratory outcome.


GH administration for 26 weeks significantly increased fasting insulin concentrations and HIRI but did not significantly change MISI or oGE compared to placebo.


GH administration for 26 weeks in healthy older subjects impairs insulin sensitivity in the liver but not skeletal muscle and does not alter glucose effectiveness.


Growth hormone Insulin resistance Glucose effectiveness Aging 



This work was supported in part by the Intramural Research Programs of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), Baltimore, Maryland and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Washington, DC, National Institutes of Health Research Grants RO-1 AG11005 (to MRB), and the Research Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington DC.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of The Institutional Review Board of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Endocrine Section, Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Endocrinology Section, Department of MedicinePhoenix VA Health Care SystemPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.Research ServiceVeterans Affairs Medical CenterWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineGeorgetown University School of MedicineWashingtonUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineGeorge Washington University School of MedicineWashingtonUSA

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