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      The Effects of Growth Hormone Treatment on Health-Related Quality of Life in Children

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          Background/Aims: The effects of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) on linear growth in children are well documented, but there is less convincing evidence regarding the impact on health-related quality of life (QOL). We examined QOL in children aged 8–16 years with acquired GHD following treatment for malignancy (AGHD) or idiopathic GHD (IGHD) on commencing growth hormone treatment (GHT) over 6 months. We adopted a longitudinal design involving consecutive patients and their families attending clinic over an 18-month period. Mothers and children were invited to complete questionnaires before GHT (T1) and 6 months later (T2). Methods: Mothers of 22 children (AGHD n = 14; IGHD n = 8) completed standardized measures of child QOL and behaviour. Children completed parallel measures of QOL, short-term memory tasks and fitness either in clinic or at the family home. Results: For children with AGHD, QOL was significantly below population norms at T1 and improved over time. For children diagnosed with IGHD, QOL at T1 was below, but comparable with population norms. QOL improved over time, though not significantly. Conclusion: GHT is potentially valuable for improving QOL in children, especially in cases of AGHD. We conclude that benefits of GHT for QOL need to be evaluated independent of different diagnostic groups.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Development of a shuttle walking test of disability in patients with chronic airways obstruction.

          The aim was to develop a standardised and externally paced field walking test, incorporating an incremental and progressive structure, to assess functional capacity in patients with chronic airways obstruction. The usefulness of two different shuttle walking test protocols was examined in two separate groups of patients. The initial 10 level protocol (group A, n = 10) and a subsequent, modified, 12 level protocol (group B, n = 10) differed in the number of increments and in the speeds of walking. Patients performed three shuttle walking tests one week apart. Then the performance of patients (group C, n = 15) in the six minute walking test was compared with that in the second (modified) shuttle walking test protocol. Heart rate was recorded during all the exercise tests with a short range telemetry device. The 12 level modified protocol provided a measure of functional capacity in patients with a wide range of disability and was reproducible after just one practice walk; the mean difference between trial 2 v 3 was -2.0 (95% CI -21.9 to 17.9) m. There was a significant relation between the distance walked in the six minute walking test and the shuttle walking test (rho = 0.68) but the six minute walking test appeared to overestimate the extent of disability in some patients. The shuttle test provoked a graded cardiovascular response not evident in the six minute test. Moreover, the maximal heart rates attained were significantly higher for the shuttle walking test than for the six minute test. The shuttle walking test constitutes a standardised incremental field walking test that provokes a symptom limited maximal performance. It provides an objective measurement of disability and allows direct comparison of patients' performance.
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            A progressive shuttle run test to estimate maximal oxygen uptake.

            The purpose of the present study was to examine the validity of using a 20 m progressive shuttle run test to estimate maximal oxygen uptake. Running ability was described as the final level attained on the shuttle run test and as time on a 5 km run. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) was determined directly for seventy-four volunteers (36 men, 38 women) who also completed the shuttle run test. Maximal oxygen uptake values were 58.5 +/- 7.0 and 47.4 +/- 6.1 ml.kg-1.min-1 for the men and women respectively (mean +/- SD, P less than 0.01). The levels attained on the shuttle run test were 12.6 +/- 1.5 (men) and 9.6 +/- 1.8 (women; P less than 0.01). The correlation between VO2 max and shuttle level was 0.92. The correlation between VO2 max and the 5 km run was -0.94 and the correlation between both field tests was -0.96. The results of this study suggest that a progressive shuttle run test provides a valid estimate of VO2 max and indicates 5 km running potential in active men and women.
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              Effect of growth hormone treatment on adult height in peripubertal children with idiopathic short stature: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

              GH is often used to treat children with idiopathic short stature despite the lack of definitive, long-term studies of efficacy. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the effect of GH on adult height in peripubertal children. Subjects (n = 68; 53 males and 15 females), 9-16 yr old, with marked, idiopathic short stature [height or predicted height < or = -2.5 sd score (SDS)] received either GH (0.074 mg/kg) or placebo sc three times per week until they were near adult height. At study termination, adult height measurements were available for 33 patients after mean treatment duration of 4.4 yr. Adult height was greater in the GH-treated group (-1.81 +/- 0.11 SDS, least squares mean +/- sem) than in the placebo-treated group (-2.32 +/- 0.17 SDS) by 0.51 SDS (3.7 cm; P < 0.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.10-0.92 SDS). A similar GH effect was demonstrated in terms of adult height SDS minus baseline height SDS and adult height SDS minus baseline predicted height SDS. Modified intent-to-treat analysis in 62 patients treated for at least 6 months indicated a similar GH effect on last observed height SDS (0.52 SDS; 3.8 cm; P < 0.001; 95% confidence interval, 0.22-0.82 SDS) and no important dropout bias. In conclusion, GH treatment increases adult height in peripubertal children with marked idiopathic short stature.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                April 2006
                22 May 2006
                : 65
                : 5
                : 243-249
                aCR-UK Child and Family Health Group, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, bDepartment of Paediatrics, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Sheffield, cDepartment of Paediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds, and dDepartment of Paediatrics, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK
                92455 Horm Res 2006;65:243–249
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 3, References: 36, Pages: 7
                Original Paper


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