Growth hormone and the cardiovascular system

Cardiol Rev. Jul-Aug 2012;20(4):197-207. doi: 10.1097/CRD.0b013e318248a3e1.


Growth hormone (GH) exerts its effects through insulin-like growth factor-1, and although ubiquitous in human tissues, it has a significant role in cardiovascular function. In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in GH as an etiologic factor in many cardiovascular disease states. Acromegaly, a state of endogenous GH excess, results in myocardial hypertrophy and decreased cardiac performance with increased cardiovascular mortality. Additional insight into the role of excess GH on the cardiovascular system has been gained from data collected in athletes doping with GH. Likewise, GH deficiency is associated with increased mortality, possibly from the associated increase in atherosclerosis, lipid abnormalities, and endothelial dysfunction. However, further research is required to clarify the benefit of GH treatment in both deficient states and in heart failure patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Cardiomegaly / drug therapy
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology*
  • Cardiomyopathies / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology
  • Growth Hormone / adverse effects
  • Heart Diseases / drug therapy
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Heart Valve Diseases / etiology
  • Human Growth Hormone / deficiency
  • Human Growth Hormone / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / physiology*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Somatostatin / analogs & derivatives


  • Biomarkers
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Somatostatin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone