Experiencing headaches, fatigue, chest pain, or irregular heartbeats? You should visit a medical doctor who will examine you and your cardiovascular health. If your symptoms are caused by high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol (lipid profile) levels, you might have underlying growth hormone deficiency (GHD).
GHD can affect negatively both of these indicators and increase your risk of cardiovascular problems and untimely death. For example, a large prospective study with more than 77 000 participants shows that high blood pressure and especially systolic pressure >160 significantly increases cardiovascular mortality.
Case-controlled trials confirm that increased systolic but not diastolic pressure is a common finding in adults with GHD
Furthermore, 26–45% of GHD adults experience elevated levels of total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduced levels of HDL (good cholesterol). High LDL and increased ratio between total/HDL cholesterol are two separate factors that indicate an increased rate of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk.
People with GHD are at a higher risk of heart disease and death due to cardiovascular complications when compared to people with normal GH levels. Besides, chronic heart failure can seriously limit your physical capacity and reduce the quality of your life.
GH Effects on the Cardiovascular System and Cholesterol Levels
The growth hormone has a role in the normal function of the cardiac muscle – the myocardium. Low HGH can lead to serious heart problems including reduced myocardial mass and decreased capacity of the heart to pump blood during contraction.
GH also affects cholesterol levels, both directly and indirectly. The hormone stimulates the expression of LDL-receptors in the liver, whose main role is to lower LDL and maintain normal blood levels. Normal GH levels in men lead to a slight decrease in LDL, while GHD adults often experience high LDL.
GH interacts with your body’s fat stores and stimulates their mobilization (lipolysis)
Low HGH leads to the accumulation of fat around the internal organs and the abdomen, which in turn causes high LDL and low HDL levels. The condition is also called dyslipidemia. The disturbance in the lipid profile in patients with GHD is a risk factor for early occurrence and faster progression of atherosclerosis.
How to Treat High Cholesterol and Hypertension Associated with GHD
Growth hormone replacement therapy is studied extensively for its effect on metabolic and heart health in GHD patients. Currently, the evidence suggests that maintaining normal HGH levels using physiological doses is the best option for long-term cardiovascular health.
A study with 83 participants investigated the long-term effects of HGH on dyslipidemia and other metabolic markers. According to the results, LDL levels decreased and HDL increased significantly from 1-year to 4-year follow-up.
Another case-controlled study with 70 men revealed that HGH therapy in GHD patients can slow down atherosclerosis and even reduce arterial wall thickness.
Currently, HGH treatment is considered safe in people with heart problems and might even help the condition.
A meta-analysis of twelve trials suggests that HGH therapy can improve various cardiovascular parameters in patients with chronic heart failure. They include better cardiac function, increased myocardial thickness, and higher pump volume of the heart.
Mortality in GHD patients is reduced due to the benefits of HGH replacement therapy against high cholesterol levels, atherosclerosis, and other heart-related issues. The death rate in treated patients is significantly reduced compared to those left untreated.
Your heart is not the only muscle affected by GHD. The condition can also lead to a decrease in total muscle mass, muscle strength, and endurance.
More about a decrease in muscle mass and strength
Decrease in muscle mass and strength
Patients with growth hormone deficiency often experience muscle loss, reduced physical strength, endurance. That include changes in body composition and appearanceFind out more