The proportion of elderly people is steadily growing in Western societies. The result is a disproportionate accumulation of the oldest and most vulnerable sector of the population, suffering from frailty-associated disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Growth hormone (GH) secretion declines progressively during adulthood. In ageing and severe GH deficiency, an individual's muscle mass, muscle strength and bone mass are decreased, and the relative proportion of total and visceral fat is increased. An association between reduced GH levels and the catabolism of ageing has been suggested. GH or GH secretagogue treatment could be of value to minimize the health-related consequences associated with the ageing process.