Context: Children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) who receive GH treatment have improved growth and body composition; however, data are lacking for adults when treatment is discontinued after completion of growth.
Objectives: Our aim was to compare body composition and metabolic status in adults with PWS according to GH treatment in childhood and adolescence.
Design: 64 adults (mean age: 25.4 years) with a genetic diagnosis of PWS were evaluated: 20 received GH in childhood (T), which had been discontinued at the time of this study, and 44 did not receive GH (C). Mean duration of treatment in the T group was 4.4 ± 2.7 years, age at baseline was 11.8 ± 2.7 years, mean time between the end of treatment and the current evaluation was 7.0 ± 4.4 years.
Main outcomes measures: Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to assess body composition and fasting biological analyses evaluated metabolic status. RESULTS (MEAN ± SD): Body mass index and percentage of fat mass were significantly lower in the T group (32.4 ± 10.3 vs 41.2 ± 11.1 kg/m(2), P = 0.05 and 44.0 ± 9.6 vs 50.1 ± 7.2%, P = 0.02, respectively). Insulinemia and HOMA-IR in non-diabetic subjects were significantly lower in the T group (5.8 ± 5.9 vs 13.9 ± 11.6 μUI/ml, P = 0.03, and 1.6 ± 1.3 vs 2.7 ± 2.1, P = 0.04, respectively). Non-diabetic and diabetic subjects from the T group had a significantly lower HbA1c. Lipid profiles were similar between groups.
Conclusions: GH treatment in childhood and adolescence is associated with significantly decreased body mass index and improved body composition and metabolic status in adults with PWS at several years after discontinuing treatment.