Role of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I in hyperandrogenism and the severity of acne vulgaris in young males

Saudi Med J. 2012 Nov;33(11):1196-200.


Objective: To evaluate the association of growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1) in the production of male sex hormones and the severity of acne in Iraqi male patients, and to assess their role in development of secondary hyperlipidemia in such patients.

Methods: We conducted this case-control study and single-center measurement of hormones and selected biochemical parameters in a cohort of volunteer males in the Department of Biochemistry College of Medicine, Baghdad University, and in the Dermatology Department, Baghdad Teaching Hospital, Iraq, from January 2010 to November 2010.

Results: The mean serum levels of GH and IGF-1 of severe acne patients were significantly increased when compared with mild-, moderate acne patients, and healthy controls (p=0.0001). Also, the mean serum total testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels were significantly increased in severe acne compared with those of mild- (p=0.0001), moderate acne patients (p=0.005), and healthy males (p=0.0001). The mean values of lipid parameters significantly differed in severe acne patients in comparison with other acne groups and controls (p=0.004). The results also revealed a significant correlation between the studied parameters.

Conclusion: The study showed a significant elevation of serum GH and IGF-1, which enhanced androgen hormone production and the development of severe acne. These patients may develop hyperlipidemia secondary to their hyperandrogenism.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / blood*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Androstenedione / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate / blood
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone