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      Aging and Immune Function: A Possible Role for Growth Hormone

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          Elderly individuals have four to five times the case rate of cancer, tuberculosis and herpes zoster and six to seven times the fatality rate from pneumonia compared to young adults. This may be causally related to two changes that occur with aging, i.e. decreased growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) production and decreased immune function. Data from our laboratory as well as others have shown that, based on either GH secretory dynamics or IGF-1 levels, approximately 40% of adults aged 60 and older are GH deficient. In the same population of subjects, immune function decreases such that there is a decline in cell-mediated and humoral immune responsiveness. Some of these immune deficits have been shown to be reversed in humans and primates by GH and/or IGF-1 treatment. This paper will review some of these data.

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          Author and article information

          Horm Res Paediatr
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          09 December 2008
          : 45
          : 1-2
          : 46-49
          Division of Endocrinology, State University of New York, Stony Brook, N.Y., USA
          184758 Horm Res 1996;45:46–49
          © 1996 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Pages: 4
          Session 2: Immunology, Nutrition and Catabolic States


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