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Adults With Growth Hormone Deficiency Risks

Guest Rose Marie

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Adults With Growth Hormone Deficiency May Be at Increased Risk For Strokes and Heart Attacks


MAGIC Launches New Educational Program for Thousands of Affected Adults


CHICAGO, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Adults who suffer from growth hormone deficiency may be at greater risk for cardiovascular disease if they are not treated, states David Cook, MD, professor of medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.  More than 60,000 adults in the U.S. today suffer from Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD).  Usually considered a childhood disease, adults with GHD outnumber children by 3 to 1.


Dr. Cook made his remarks in the latest educational webcast from MAGIC. To meet the informational needs of this increased population, MAGIC has launched a new educational webcast called "Perspectives on Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency."  This new addition to MAGIC's educational webcast series covers both the professional and patient perspectives of this pervasive condition in adults.


"Growth hormone deficiency is something that can more easily be seen in a child who is obviously not growing.  However, with adults, a lack of growth hormone is more subtle, but ultimately, more dangerous to an adult's health," states Mary Andrews, chairman of the MAGIC Foundation.  "Our group was originally founded to help children with growth issues, but in recent years we have seen a profound need from adults, many of whom suffer from this condition due to previous pituitary problems."


Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD) occurs when the adult body does not receive a normal amount of growth hormone.  The causes can vary.  One way adults can be growth hormone deficient is if they were deficient as children and the deficiency continues into adulthood.  Another way an adult can have AGHD is if there is damage to the pituitary gland due to a pituitary tumor, radiation therapy to the head or surgery to remove that tumor, or even head injury.  When the pituitary is damaged, the adult is often left with little or no pituitary hormones, including growth hormone which is one of the most sensitive functions of the pituitary.  Growth hormone is necessary to help maintain the adult body's metabolic functions, including cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health.


"In the absence of growth hormone, there are major changes to the body's fat, muscle and bone, states Dr. Cook, who treats adults with growth hormone deficiency and is interviewed in this webcast.  "The development of this adverse body composition leads to increased cardiovascular risk.  That means that patients, if left untreated, are at increased risk for stroke or heart attack," explains Dr. Cook.


Treatment for AGHD is recombinant human growth hormone, the same as for childhood GHD.  Growth hormone allows the body to maintain its normal metabolic functions.


"Perspectives on Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency" consists of interviews with Dr. Cook and an endocrine nurse specialist who helps manage the practice at Oregon Health & Science, Marie Cook, R.N., B.S.N.  Also interviewed are two adults with growth hormone deficiency who tell their own stories of how they found out they were growth hormone deficient and why they are on treatment now.  The webcast covers the many aspects of this disease from the first signs and symptoms, to diagnosis and finally, treatment and ongoing management of the lifelong disease.


"In our first webcast for adults with growth hormone deficiency, we felt it was critical to give an overview of what this disease is all about, as well as bring in testimonials from the people who live with it everyday," states Andrews.  "We are looking forward to bringing more educational programming for both children and adults affected by growth disorders, no matter what the cause, in our future webcasts."


The MAGIC webcast series is made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Genentech, Inc.  The new webcast, "Perspectives on Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency" is now available for viewing by visiting www.magicfoundation.org.  Patients and families interested in learning more are encouraged to email the Foundation and physician with their own questions. Selected questions are then posted along with the answers under "Frequently Asked Questions."


For additional information contact The MAGIC Foundation at 1-(708)-383-0808 or visit the website www.magicfoundation.org.


SOURCE  The MAGIC Foundation  


CO:  MAGIC Foundation; Genentech, Inc.


ST:  Illinois






01/30/2003 06:01 EST

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This is awesome!  I'm listening to the webcast right now.  This is my Dr. Cook and his nurse/wife that I love so dearly.  Thanks for showing us this, Mary!

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