To evaluate the impact of gender on the clinical and metabolic parameters in prepubertal growth hormone deficiency (GHD) children at diagnosis and during GH treatment (GHT).
The data of 105 prepubertal children (61 males, 44 females, mean age 6.8 ± 0.7 years) affected by idiopathic GHD were retrospectively evaluated.
Body height, BMI, waist circumference (WC), IGF-I, HbA1c, lipid profile, fasting and after-OGTT glucose and insulin levels, insulin sensitivity and secretion indices were evaluated at baseline and after 24 months of GHT.
At baseline, no significant difference was found in all clinical, hormonal and metabolic parameters between males and females. After 24 months of GHT, both males and females showed a significant increase in height (both P < 0.001), BMI (both P < 0.001), WC (P < 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively), IGF-I (both P < 0.001), fasting glucose (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively), fasting insulin (both P < 0.001) and Homa-IR (both P < 0.001), with a concomitant significant decrease in insulin sensitivity index (ISI) (both P < 0.001) and oral disposition index (DIo) (P = 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). At 24 months of GHT, females showed significantly higher BMI (P = 0.027), lower ISI (P < 0.001) and DIo (P < 0.001), in concomitance with a significant greater change from baseline to 24 months of BMI (P = 0.013), WC (P < 0.001), ISI (P = 0.002) and DIo (P = 0.072), although the latter does not reach statistical significance.
Twenty-four months of GHT in prepubertal children leads to different metabolic outcomes according to gender, with a greater reduction in insulin sensitivity in females, regardless of auxological and hormonal parameters. Therefore, prepubertal GHD females should probably need a more proper monitoring in clinical practice.