Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is defined biochemically as a response to hypoglycaemia with a peak GH concentration of less than 5 µg/l. The ‘GHD syndrome’ is a range of psychological and physical symptoms that are associated with GHD, which include increased central adiposity, decreased bone mineral density, abnormal lipid profiles, decreased cardiovascular performance, reduced lean body mass (LBM), social isolation, depressed mood and increased anxiety. Importantly, the combination of physical and psychological problems can often result in a reduced quality of life. A number of trials have shown that GH replacement therapy can lead to a substantial improvement in GHD associated symptoms. Following up to 12 months of treatment with GH, LBM increased, left ventricular systolic function improved and the mean volume of adipose tissue fell. After only 4 months of treatment, a rise in exercise capacity was recorded, and after 2 years’ treatment, isokinetic and isometric muscle strength had normalized in proximal muscle groups. Feelings of well-being and vitality also improved significantly. However, studies on the effects of treatment on insulin sensitivity in GH-deficient patients have had conflicting results. In this paper, we will discuss the long-term consequences of GHD and the effects of GH replacement therapy.