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Open access

Sirazum Choudhury, Tricia Tan, Katharine Lazarus, and Karim Meeran

The introduction of adrenocortical extract in 1930 improved the life expectancy of hyhpoadrenal patients, with further increases seen after the introduction of cortisone acetate from 1948. Most patients are now treated with synthetic hydrocortisone, and incremental advances have been made with optimisation of daily dosing and the introduction of multidose regimens. There remains a significant mortality gap between individuals with treated hypoadrenalism and the general population. It is unclear whether this gap is a result of glucocorticoid over-replacement, under-replacement or loss of the circadian and ultradian rhythm of cortisol secretion, with the risk of detrimental excess glucocorticoid exposure at later times in the day. The way forwards will involve replacement of the diurnal cortisol rhythm with better glucocorticoid replacement regimens. The steroid profile produced by both prednisolone and dual-release hydrocortisone (Plenadren), provide a smoother glucocorticoid profile of cortisol than standard oral multidose regimens of hydrocortisone and cortisone acetate. The individualisation of prednisolone doses and lower bioavailability of Plenadren offer reductions in total steroid exposure. Although there is emerging evidence of both treatments offering better cardiometabolic outcomes than standard glucocorticoid replacement regimens, there is a paucity of evidence involving very low dose prednisolone (2–4 mg daily) compared to the larger doses (~7.5 mg) historically used. Data from upcoming clinical studies on prednisolone will therefore be of key importance in informing future practice.

Open access

Mark R Postma, Pia Burman, and André P van Beek


Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is usually the last deficiency to be substituted in hypopituitarism. In children with documented GH deficiency, treatment without delay is crucial for achieving optimal effects on growth and development. In adults, it is not known whether a delay in treatment initiation influences biochemical response and the favourable physiological effects resulting from GH replacement therapy (GHRT).


A total of 1085 GH-deficient adults from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database) were included, adequately replaced with all pituitary hormones except for GH at baseline. Patients were stratified by sex and age (20–50 years and ≥50 years) and subsequently divided into two groups below and above the median duration of unsubstituted AGHD for that subgroup. The median time of unsubstituted GHD for the total cohort was 2.53 years (P5 = 0.35, P95 = 24.42).


Beneficial effects of 4 years of GHRT were observed on lipids and quality of life in all subgroups. A decrease in waist circumference was observed only in older (>50 years) patients. There was no difference in IGF-I SDS and in GH dose required to normalize IGF-I in patients with a duration of unsubstituted AGHD above or below the median. No relevant differences were found between the groups for anthropometric measures, cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life scores.


In contrast to GHD in children and adolescents, no difference could be established in treatment response between early or late initiation of GHRT in AGHD in terms of required GH dose, IGF-I, metabolic health and quality of life.

Open access

Enrique Soto-Pedre, Paul J Newey, John S Bevan, and Graham P Leese


High serum prolactin concentrations have been associated with adverse health outcomes in some but not all studies. This study aimed to examine the morbidity and all-cause mortality associated with hyperprolactinaemia.


A population-based matched cohort study in Tayside (Scotland, UK) from 1988 to 2014 was performed. Record-linkage technology was used to identify patients with hyperprolactinaemia that were compared to an age–sex-matched cohort of patients free of hyperprolactinaemia. The number of deaths and incident admissions with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer, breast cancer, bone fractures and infectious conditions were compared by the survival analysis.


Patients with hyperprolactinaemia related to pituitary tumours had no increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bone fractures, all-cause cancer or breast cancer. Whilst no increased mortality was observed in patients with pituitary microadenomas (HR = 1.65, 95% CI: 0.79–3.44), other subgroups including those with pituitary macroadenomas and drug-induced and idiopathic hyperprolactinaemia demonstrated an increased risk of death. Individuals with drug-induced hyperprolactinaemia also demonstrated increased risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and bone fracture. However, these increased risks were not associated with the degree of serum prolactin elevation (P trend > 0.3). No increased risk of cancer was observed in any subgroup.


No excess morbidity was observed in patients with raised prolactin due to pituitary tumours. Although the increased morbidity and mortality associated with defined patient subgroups are unlikely to be directly related to the elevation in serum prolactin, hyperprolactinaemia might act as a biomarker for the presence of some increased disease risk in these patients.

Open access

Maria Angela D'amico, Barbara Ghinassi, Pascal Izzicupo, Lamberto Manzoli, and A Di Baldassarre

Chromogranin A (CgA (CHGA)) is the major soluble protein co-stored and co-released with catecholamines and can function as a pro-hormone by giving rise to several bioactive peptides. This review summarizes the physiological functions, the pathogenic implications, and the recent use of these molecules as biomarkers in several pathological conditions. A thorough literature review of the electronic healthcare databases MEDLINE, from January 1985 to September 2013, was conducted to identify articles and studies concerned with CgA and its processing. The search strategies utilized keywords such as chromogranin A, vasostatins 1 and 2, chromofungin, chromacin, pancreastatin, catestatin, WE14, chromostatin, GE25, parastatin, and serpinin and was supplemented by the screening of references from included papers and review articles. A total of 209 English-language, peer-reviewed original articles or reviews were examined. The analysis of the retrospective literature suggested that CgA and its several bioactive fragments exert a broad spectrum of regulatory activities by influencing the endocrine, the cardiovascular, and the immune systems and by affecting the glucose or calcium homeostasis. As some peptides exert similar effects, but others elicit opposite responses, the regulation of the CgA processing is critical to maintain homeostasis, whereas an unbalanced production of peptides that exert opposing effects can have a pathogenic role in several diseases. These clinical implications entail that CgA and its derived peptides are now used as diagnostic and prognostic markers or to monitor the response to pharmacological intervention not only in endocrine tumors, but also in cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neuropsychiatric diseases.

Open access

Jie Shi, Zhen Yang, Yixin Niu, Weiwei Zhang, Ning Lin, Xiaoyong Li, Hongmei Zhang, Hongxia Gu, Jie Wen, Guang Ning, Li Qin, and Qing Su


A small thigh circumference is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and total mortality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between thigh circumference and hypertension in the middle-aged and elderly population.


A total of 9520 individuals aged 40 years and older with measurement of thigh circumference were available for analysis. The measurement of thigh circumference was performed directly below the gluteal fold of the thigh. The association of thigh circumference with hypertension was tested in logistic regression analyses and reported as odds ratio (OR) with 95% CI.


Thigh circumference was negatively correlated with systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and total cholesterol. Compared with the lowest thigh circumference tertile group, the risk of hypertension was significantly lower in the highest tertile group, both in overweight individuals (OR 0.68; 95% CI 0.59–0.79, P < 0.001) and obese individuals (OR 0.51; 95% CI 0.38–0.70, P < 0.001).


In the present study, large thigh circumference is associated with lower risk of hypertension in overweight and obese Chinese individuals.

Open access

Pinaki Dutta, Bhuvanesh Mahendran, K Shrinivas Reddy, Jasmina Ahluwalia, Kim Vaiphei, Rakesh K Kochhar, Prakamya Gupta, Anand Srinivasan, Mahesh Prakash, Kanchan Kumar Mukherjee, Viral N Shah, Girish Parthan, and Anil Bhansali

The effectiveness and short-term safety of recombinant human GH (r-hGH) in acromegaly patients with GH deficiency (GHD) after treatment are not well established. The study includes ten subjects with acromegaly who had GHD treated with r-hGH for 6 months. Control groups consisted of ten age-, gender-, and BMI-matched healthy subjects and ten active acromegaly patients who were treatment naïve. Body composition, quality of life (QoL), muscle strength, lipid profile, and cardiovascular risk factors were assessed in all subjects at baseline, and the same parameters were reassessed after 6 months of therapy with r-hGH in acromegaly with GHD. Repeat magnetic resonance imaging of the sella was performed in treated subjects. Optical colonoscopy was done and biopsies were taken from multiple sites for proliferation indices (Ki67). The median duration of GHD was 17.8 months and dose of r-hGH administered was 5.7±1.5 μg/kg per day. There was improvement in bone mineral content (P=0.01), bone mineral density (P=0.04), muscle strength (P<0.001), total cholesterol (P=0.003), high-density cholesterol (P<0.001), and QoL – score (P=0.005), and reduction in low-density cholesterol (P=0.003) and triglyceride (P=0.004) after treatment. There was no change in lean body mass, total body fat, hsCRP, lipoprotein (a), and fibrinogen levels. There was a modest increase in plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (P=0.002), but it was lower compared with healthy controls and treatment naïve acromegalics (P=0.007). Six month-r-hGH therapy improves body composition, atherogenic lipid profile, QoL, and muscle strength in GHD patients who had acromegaly. Long-term prospective studies are needed to evaluate the effect of r-hGH therapy in these patients.

Open access

Shenglong Le, Leiting Xu, Moritz Schumann, Na Wu, Timo Törmäkangas, Markku Alén, Sulin Cheng, and Petri Wiklund


The directional influences between serum sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), adiposity and insulin resistance during pubertal growth remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate bidirectional associations between SHBG and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and adiposity from childhood to early adulthood.


Participants were 396 healthy girls measured at baseline (age 11.2 years) and at 1, 2, 4 and 7.5 years. Serum concentrations of estradiol, testosterone and SHBG were determined by ELISA, glucose and insulin by enzymatic photometry, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) by time-resolved fluoroimmunoassays, whole-body fat mass by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and HOMA-IR were determined by homeostatic model assessment. The associations were examined using cross-lagged path models.


In a cross-lagged path model, SHBG predicted HOMA-IR before menarche β = −0.320 (95% CI: −0.552 to −0.089), P = 0.007, independent of adiposity and IGF-1. After menarche, no directional effect was found between SHBG and insulin resistance or adiposity.


Our results suggest that in early puberty, decline in SHBG predicts development of insulin resistance, independent of adiposity. However, after menarche, no directional influences between SHBG, adiposity and insulin resistance were found, suggesting that observational associations between SHBG, adiposity and insulin resistance in pubertal children may be subject to confounding. Further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms of the associations between SHBG and cardiometabolic risk markers in peripubertal children.

Open access

Nicolás Crisosto, Bárbara Echiburú, Manuel Maliqueo, Marta Luchsinger, Pedro Rojas, Sergio Recabarren, and Teresa Sir-Petermann


Intrauterine life may be implicated in the origin of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) modifying the endocrine and metabolic functions of children born to PCOS mothers independently of the genetic inheritance and gender. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the reproductive and metabolic functions in sons of women with PCOS during puberty.


Sixty-nine PCOS sons (PCOSs) and 84 control sons of 7–18 years old matched by the Tanner stage score were studied. A complete physical examination was conducted including anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist, hip and body mass index). An oral glucose tolerance test was performed and circulating concentrations of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), sex hormone-binding globulin, testosterone, androstenedione (A4), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) and AMH were determined in the fasting sample.


Waist-to-hip ratio, FSH and androstenedione levels were significantly higher in the PCOSs group compared to control boys during the Tanner stage II–III. In Tanner stages II–III and IV–V, PCOSs showed significantly higher total cholesterol and LDL levels. Propensity score analysis showed that higher LDL levels were attributable to the PCOSs condition and not to other metabolic factors. AMH levels were comparable during all stages. The rest of the parameters were comparable between both groups.


Sons of women with PCOS show increased total cholesterol and LDL levels during puberty, which may represent latent insulin resistance. Thus, this is a group that should be followed and studied looking for further features of insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk markers. Reproductive markers, on the other hand, are very similar to controls.

Open access

Ann-Kristin Picke, Graeme Campbell, Nicola Napoli, Lorenz C Hofbauer, and Martina Rauner

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide, especially as a result of our aging society, high caloric intake and sedentary lifestyle. Besides the well-known complications of T2DM on the cardiovascular system, the eyes, kidneys and nerves, bone strength is also impaired in diabetic patients. Patients with T2DM have a 40–70% increased risk for fractures, despite having a normal to increased bone mineral density, suggesting that other factors besides bone quantity must account for increased bone fragility. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the complex effects of T2DM on bone including effects on bone cells, bone material properties and other endocrine systems that subsequently affect bone, discusses the effects of T2DM medications on bone and concludes with a model identifying factors that may contribute to poor bone quality and increased bone fragility in T2DM.

Open access

Line K Johnson, Kirsten B Holven, Njord Nordstrand, Jan R Mellembakken, Tom Tanbo, and Jøran Hjelmesæth

We aimed to examine whether a whole-grain crispbread (CB) low-fructose, low-calorie diet (LCD) might be superior to a traditional LCD based on fructose-rich liquid meal replacements (LMRs) with respect to improvement of various cardiometabolic risk factors and reproductive hormones. Parallel-group randomised controlled clinical trial. Morbidly obese women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) were randomised to either an 8-week CB-LCD or LMR-LCD (900–1100 kcal/day, fructose 17 g/day or 85 g/day). A total of 51 women completed the study. Body weight, fat mass and waist circumference reduced by mean (s.d.) 10.0 (4.8) kg, 7.4 (4.2) kg and 8.5 (4.4) cm, with no significant differences between groups. Total-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and Apo-A1 were significantly reduced within both groups (all P values <0.01), with no significant between-group differences. The triacylglycerol and LDL-cholesterol levels were reduced within the LMR group only, with no significant between-group differences. Blood pressure and most measures of glucose metabolism improved significantly in both diet groups, with no significant between-group difference. Uric acid levels rose by 17.7 (46.4) and 30.6 (71.5) μmol/l in the CB and LMR group, respectively, with no significant difference between groups. Gastrointestinal discomfort was significantly and equally reduced in both intervention groups. Free testosterone index was reduced in both groups, with no significant difference between groups. Morbidly obese women with PCOS who underwent either an 8-week low or high-fructose LCD-diet had similar changes in various cardiometabolic risk factors and reproductive hormones. Registration at NCT00779571.