Clinical studies in patients with acromegaly have shown that growth hormone (GH) exerts both short- and long-term effects on the structure and function of the heart. Moreover, chronic growth hormone deficiency (GHD) has been associated with impaired cardiac performance, low heart rate and impaired left ventricular systolic function. Exercise capacity in patients with GHD is significantly reduced and in some severely affected individuals, dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure has been reported. GHD has also been associated with a number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Altered lipoprotein metabolism and elevated fibrinogen and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity are associated with GHD, and the risk of hypertension is increased in GH-deficient men. Subcutaneous and intra-abdominal fat mass have also been found to be abnormally high in these patients. These effects may contribute to an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. GH is therefore an important factor in the development and function of the cardiovascular system. In this paper, the effects of GH on the physiological mechanisms of the cardiovascular system are discussed, including the effect of GHD on cardiovascular disease risk. We will also discuss the effects of long-term GH replacement therapy in this patient population.