Long-term Safety of Testosterone and Growth Hormone Supplementation: A Retrospective Study of Metabolic, Cardiovascular, and Oncologic Outcomes

Enrique Ginzburg, Nancy Klimas, Chad Parvus, Jeff Life, Robert Willix, Michale J. Barber, Alvin Lin, Florence Comite


Background: Clinical research into the effects of hormonal supplementation has tended to focus on beneficial changes in anthropometric measures. There are fewer data on long-term safety with extended hormonal supplementation.

Methods: As part of a retrospective database survey, clinical outcomes were tabulated among patients who received at least 1 year of testosterone and/or growth hormone (GH) supplementation. In patients who were treated for at least 2 years, changes in markers of glucose and lipid metabolism were analyzed with and without concomitant use of oral hypoglycemics and statins.

Results: In 263 patients (mean age 56) treated for at least 2 years, the only statistically significant effect on markers of glucose metabolism was an increase in glycated hemoglobin (still within normal limits) in patients receiving GH alone or in combination with testosterone but without oral hypoglycemics; with or without hypoglycemics, insulin levels showed no significant change. The only significant effects on markers of lipid metabolism were decreases in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in patients receiving combined testosterone and GH without statins. Decreases in LDL were significant in both the statin and non-statin groups; decreases in triglycerides were significant only in the statin group. In 531 patients treated for at least 1 year (mean age 54), the overall incidence of adverse clinical outcomes (prostate disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer) was 1.3%.

Conclusions: In this retrospective survey, extended testosterone and/or GH supplementation did not adversely affect metabolic markers or clinical outcomes.



Safety; Testosterone; Growth hormone; Supplementation

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