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Growth Hormone Use in Childhood Linked to Hemorrhagic Stroke in Adulthood — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 14, 2014

Growth Hormone Use in Childhood Linked to Hemorrhagic Stroke in Adulthood

By Christine Sadlowski

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD

Use of growth hormone in childhood is associated with increased risk for stroke — particularly hemorrhagic stroke — later in life, a Neurology study shows.

Researchers analyzed stroke outcomes in almost 7000 adults in France who had received growth hormone as children between 1985 and 1996 for conditions associated with low morbidity and mortality, such as idiopathic isolated growth hormone deficiency and idiopathic short stature. During 2008-2010, strokes occurred significantly more often in the cohort (11 strokes total) than in healthy control groups in France (standardized incidence ratio, 2.2) and England (SIR, 5.3). Compared with both control groups combined, SIRs were 2.6 for hemorrhagic stroke and 4.6 for subarachnoid hemorrhage.

An editorialist concludes: "It may be prudent" for providers to consider this potential association "when determining 'net benefit' to the patient for [growth hormone] treatment. If the family and practitioner proceed with therapy, the family and patient should be counseled to be knowledgeable about signs and symptoms of, and the importance of seeking prompt treatment for, cerebrovascular disease."

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