What are the cardiovascular complications of with hypopituitarism (panhypopituitarism)?

Updated: Jun 09, 2020
  • Author: Bernard Corenblum, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Cardiovascular disease is significantly higher among hypopituitary patients. [16] Female patients with hypopituitarism who are receiving controlled thyroid and steroid hormone substitution, but without GH replacement, have a more than 2-fold increase in cardiovascular mortality compared with the general population. [16] Hypopituitary patients have a lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level and a higher low-density/high-density lipoprotein ratio. [16]

However, a literature review by Giagulli et al indicated that neither short- nor long-term GH supplementation significantly reduces cardiovascular risk in adults with a GH deficit resulting from either isolated GH deficiency or compensated panhypopituitarism. Nonetheless, both groups of patients in the study did show an increase in fat-free mass, a decrease in fat mass, and a reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. [17]

A retrospective study by Abe et al indicated that metabolic syndrome is common in adults with hypopituitarism. The investigators found that out of 99 adult patients with hypopituitarism, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, which overall was 39.4%, was significantly greater in patients over age 50 years, with higher body mass index (BMI) and untreated growth hormone deficiency also being risk factors for the syndrome. Metabolic syndrome in patients with hypopituitarism was particularly characterized by a reduced high-density–lipoprotein cholesterol level. [18]

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