Growth hormone and aging

Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2021 Mar;22(1):71-80. doi: 10.1007/s11154-020-09593-2. Epub 2020 Oct 1.


Growth hormone (GH) actions impact growth, metabolism, and body composition and have been associated with aging and longevity. Lack of GH results in slower growth, delayed maturation, and reduced body size and can lead to delayed aging, increased healthspan, and a remarkable extension of longevity. Adult body size, which is a GH-dependent trait, has a negative association with longevity in several mammalian species. Mechanistic links between GH and aging include evolutionarily conserved insulin/insulin-like growth factors and mechanistic target of rapamycin signaling pathways in accordance with long-suspected trade-offs between anabolic/growth processes and longevity. Height and the rate and regulation of GH secretion have been related to human aging, but longevity is not extended in humans with syndromes of GH deficiency or resistance. However, the risk of age-related chronic disease is reduced in individuals affected by these syndromes and various indices of increased healthspan have been reported.

Keywords: GH excess; GH resistance; Growth hormone; Healthspan; Human aging; Lifespan; Mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Growth Hormone*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Longevity
  • Signal Transduction


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone