AACE Issues New Medical Guidelines For Proper And Ethical Use Of Growth Hormone

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) released new medical guidelines for the accurate diagnosis and effective ethical treatment of growth hormone deficiency in affected patients.

Growth hormone replacement therapy has proven useful for children and adults with scientifically proven growth hormone deficiency. In recent years, however, growth hormone use for anti-aging and athletic enhancement has increased to the point that this use currently accounts for approximately 30 percent of growth hormone prescriptions in the United States (1). A number of professional athletes have now admitted or have been alleged to have used HGH to speed recovery from injury or to enhance performance. Anti-aging centers tout benefits of HGH to slow the aging process.

"Although there is not a wealth of medical data published concerning HGH as a recovery tool for injured athletes, it’s certainly not an approved indication for use," Dr. David Cook, Interim Division Chief of Endocrinology at the Oregon Health & Science University, and co-author of the new medical guidelines said.

In addition to addressing the increasing misuse of growth hormone in anti-aging and sports, the AACE guidelines more importantly address the accurate diagnosis and effective therapy for growth hormone deficient patients, as well as new cut points or benchmarks for growth hormone testing.

"These guidelines are the result of recent advancements in our understanding of the benefits of growth hormone replacement for patients," Dr. Cook said.

Responsiveness to growth hormone therapy is often determined by many variables, such as age, sex, adiposity, and concurrent medications. However, even after accounting for these variables, there remain highly individual differences in the response to growth hormone.

"Controlled trials, using strict dosing regimes and measuring clinical end points, such as body composition and insulin sensitivity, have shown us that growth hormone dosing should be individualized, with close attention to avoiding side effects," Dr. Cook said.

The AACE guidelines also outline new cut points for stimulation testing of growth hormone deficiency. Stimulation testing measures normal secretion or low growth hormone secretion, making them an accurate barometer to gauge growth hormone deficiency.

"If the cut point is five and the highest response is four, then the patient is growth hormone deficient," Dr. Cook said. "Some tests also depend upon body mass index such as the Arginine + growth hormone releasing hormone stimulation test."

Despite a growing body of evidence on the benefits of growth hormone therapy, there is still considerable inconsistency in the United States in the clinical practice of growth hormone replacement for adults.

"There are multiple factors accounting for this," Dr. Cook said. "Such as the high cost of growth hormone therapy, the need for daily injections, the lack of awareness regarding its indications, diagnosis, long-term surveillance, and concerns about whether there are long-term risks involved."

Consequences of untreated growth hormone deficiency include cardiovascular complications, metabolic complications, osteopenia/osteoporosis, and diminished quality of life.

About AACE

AACE is a professional medical organization with more than 6,000 members in the United States and 92 other countries. Founded in 1991, AACE is dedicated to the optimal care of patients with endocrine problems. AACE initiatives inform the public about endocrine disorders. AACE also conducts continuing education programs for clinical endocrinologists, physicians whose advanced, specialized training enables them to be experts in the care of endocrine disease, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, growth hormone deficiency, osteoporosis, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity.

About the American College of Endocrinology (ACE)

The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is the educational and scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). ACE is a scientific and charitable medical organization dedicated to promoting the art and science of clinical endocrinology for the improvement of patient care and public health. The American College of Endocrinology is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of endocrine and metabolic disorders by: providing professional education and reliable public health information; recognizing excellence in education, research and service; promoting clinical research; and defining the future of clinical endocrinology.

About Endocrine Practice

Endocrine Practice is the official scientific publication of the ACE and the AACE. It publishes the latest information in the treatment of diabetes, thyroid disease, obesity, growth hormone deficiency, sexual dysfunction, and osteoporosis, among others. The journal contains original articles, case reports, review articles, AACE Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice, commentaries, editorials, and visual images. The total circulation of Endocrine Practice exceeds 5,300. Of these readers, 94 percent are physicians who treat endocrine-related disorders. Readership includes subscriptions in 84 countries, as well as many medical schools and research facilities.

(1) Lyle WG. Human growth hormone and anti-aging. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002;110:1585-1589.

Source: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/169743.php

Main News Category: Endocrinology

Health Care Reform

This was in today’s online news, about a Cushie having to work two jobs to pay for her treatments.

Kim Yaman works two jobs to help pay for her mounting health care costs. Yaman has Cushing’s Disease, a rare tumor of the pituitary gland.

BY SARAH AVERY – Staff Writer

Galvanized by the difficulties a Cary woman has had paying medical bills despite two jobs and health insurance, a group of more than 60 community activists gathered in Raleigh on Saturday to raise support for a health care reform bill.

The group, all friends of Cary grandmother Kim Yaman, fanned out from downtown Raleigh to knock on doors and give out information about bills being considered in Washington.

A vote in the U.S. House of Representatives was on tap Saturday.

“I guess I’m a rallying point for why we need health care,” Yaman said.

Yaman, whose story was featured last month in The News & Observer as part of a series about health care reform, has Cushing’s Disease, a rare tumor of the pituitary gland. The illness causes weight gain, muscle weakness, high blood pressure and bone loss, among other problems.

For years, Yaman didn’t know what was causing her ill health, but frequent visits to doctors and myriad tests caused escalating medical bills. She took on a second job at the Galaxy Theater in Cary to augment her pay at the Wake County Public School System, but the expenses still mounted, despite insurance.

Last month, Yaman held a demonstration at Sen. Kay Hagan’s office to call for health reform that includes a public option. Yaman and friends handed out Moon Pies to passers-by, because they said they weren’t asking for the moon in seeking reform.

Saturday’s event drew community activists from Seattle, California, New York and Chicago – all who had worked with Yaman last year during the presidential campaigns and were eager to help a cause they hoped would help their friend.
savery@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4882

from http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local_state/story/181016.html

How are you paying or the cost of testing, of surgery or meds? Personally, I don’t have the energy do much more than a part-time job.

Helping others learn more about Cushing’s/Acromegaly

I found this article especially interesting.  This question was asked of a group of endos at an NIH conference a few years ago – if you saw someone on the street who looked like they had symptoms of fill-in-the disease, would you suggest that they see a doctor.  The general answer was no.  No surprise there.

Patients, if you see someone who looks like s/he has Cushing’s, give them a discrete card.

Spread The Word! Cushing’s Pocket Reference

Robin Writes:

This has been a concern of mine for some time. Your post spurred me on to do something I’ve been meaning to do. I’ve designed something you can print that will fit on the business cards you can buy just about anywhere (Wal-mart included). You can also print on stiff paper and cut with a paper cutter or scissors. I’ve done a front and a back.

Cushing's Pocket Reference

Here are the links:

Front: This card is being presented by a person who cares.
Back (The same for everyone)

This Topic on the Message Boards


And now, the article from http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/nov/03/doctor-diagnosis-stranger:

Are doctors ever really off duty?

Which potentially serious symptoms would prompt them to stop and advise a stranger on a bus?

By Lucy Atkins


Passengers on a London bus. Photograph: David Levene

A Spanish woman of 55, Montse Ventura, recently met the woman she refers to as her “guardian angel” on a bus in Barcelona. The stranger – an endocrinologist – urged Ventura to have tests for acromegaly, a rare disorder involving an excesss of growth hormone, caused by a pituitary gland tumour. How had the doctor made this unsolicited diagnosis on public transport? Apparently the unusual, spade-like shape of Ventura’s hands was a dead giveaway.

But how many off-duty doctors would feel compelled to alert strangers to symptoms they spot? “If I was sitting next to someone on a bus with a melanoma, I’d say something or I wouldn’t sleep at night,” says GP Mary McCullins. “We all have a different threshold for interfering and you don’t want to terrify people, but this is the one thing I’d urge a total stranger to see a doctor about.” So what other symptoms might prompt a doctor to approach someone on the street?

Moon face

Cushing’s syndrome is another rare hormone disorder which can be caused by a non-cancerous tumour in the pituitary gland. “A puffy, rounded ‘moon face’ is one of the classic signs of Cushing’s,” says Dr Steve Field, chair of the Royal College of GPs. “In a social situation, I wouldn’t just say, ‘You’re dangerously ill’ but I’d try to elicit information and encourage them to see a doctor.”

Different-sized pupils

When one pupil is smaller than the other, perhaps with a drooping eyelid, it could be Horner’s syndrome, a condition caused when a lung tumour begins eating into the nerves in the neck. This can be the first obvious sign of the cancer. “I’d encourage someone to get this checked out,” says Dr Simon Smith, consultant in emergency medicine at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust. “People often have an inkling that something’s wrong, and you might spur them to get help sooner.”

Clubbing fingers

Some people are born with club-shaped fingers, but if, over time, they become “drumstick-like”, this could signify serious problems such as lung tumours, chronic lung infections or congenital heart disease. “Because it happens gradually, some people disregard clubbing,” says Smith. “But I’d say something because it can be an important symptom in many serious illnesses.”

Lumpy eyelids

Whitish yellowy lumps around the eyelids can be a sign of high cholesterol, a major factor in heart disease. Sometimes you also get a yellow circle around the iris. “I would suggest they got a cholesterol test with these symptoms,” says Smith. “They can do something about it that could save their life.”

Suntan in unlikely places

A person with Addison’s disease, a rare but chronic condition brought about by the failure of the adrenal glands, may develop what looks like a deep tan, even in non sun-exposed areas such as the palms. Other symptoms (tiredness, dizziness) can be non-specific so the condition is often advanced by the time it is diagnosed. Addison’s is treatable with lifelong steroid replacement therapy. “If someone was saying they hadn’t been in the sun but had developed a tan, alarm bells would ring and I’d probably ask how they were feeling,” says McCullins.

Trench mouth

Putrid smelling breath – even if the teeth look perfect – can be a sign of acute necrotising periodontitis. “I’d be able to tell when someone walks through the door,” says dentist Laurie Powell. “But people become accustomed to it and don’t notice.” Untreated, the condition damages the bones and connective tissue in the jaw. It can also be a sign of other diseases such as diabetes or Aids.

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