Adult GH deficiency (GHD) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality due to unfavorable lipid profile, hyperfibrinogenemia, and impairment of cardiac performance. This prospective controlled cohort study evaluated the effects of 12-month GH replacement on lipid profile, fibrinogen levels, cardiac mass by echocardiography, and performance by equilibrium radionuclide angiography. To this end we studied 20 patients (11 men and 9 women, aged 19-40 yr), 10 with childhood-onset (co-) and 10 with adult-onset (ao-) disease, and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy subjects. At study entry, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I; P < 0.0001) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (P < 0.0001) levels, left ventricular mass index (LVMi; P < 0.0001), ejection fraction (LVEF) at rest (P = 0.001) and at peak exercise (P < 0.0001), peak ejection rate (P = 0.005), and exercise duration (P < 0.0001) and capacity (P = 0.002) were lower, whereas total cholesterol (P = 0.02), triglycerides (P = 0.003), and fibrinogen (P = 0.005) levels were higher in patients than in controls. After 12 months, increases in IGF-I (P < 0.0001) and HDL cholesterol levels (P = 0.04), LVMi (P < 0.0001), LVEF at peak exercise (P < 0.0001), and exercise duration (P = 0.009) and capacity (P = 0.003) and decreases in total cholesterol (P < 0.0001), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.0001), triglycerides (P < 0.0001), and fibrinogen (P = 0.01) levels were found in all patients, without any difference between co- and ao-GHD. At the end of treatment, however, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and fibrinogen levels were still higher, and HDL cholesterol levels, IGF-I levels, and LVEF at rest and at peak exercise were lower in patients than in controls. In conclusion, GH replacement for 12 months significantly improved lipid profile, decreased fibrinogen levels, and increased LVMi and LVEF in young adults with co- or ao-GHD. However, lipid profile, fibrinogen levels, and systolic function remained abnormal compared with those in age- and sex-matched controls, suggesting that a longer period of GH replacement is necessary to normalize cardiovascular parameters and reverse the cardiovascular risk of these patients.