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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013, Article ID 942030, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Effects of Growth Hormone Administration on Muscle Strength in Men over 50 Years Old

1Endocrine Service, Clementino Fraga Filho University Hospital, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rua Barão de Lucena, 135/202 Botafogo, 22260-020 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Physical Activity and Health Promotion Laboratory (LABSAU), Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Salgado de Oliveira University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 22 July 2013; Revised 16 October 2013; Accepted 21 November 2013

Academic Editor: Andreas Höflich

Copyright © 2013 A. B. W. Tavares et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Growth hormone (GH) use has been speculated to improve physical capacity in subjects without GH deficiency (GHD) through stimulation of collagen synthesis in the tendon and skeletal muscle, which leads to better exercise training and increased muscle strength. In this context, the use of GH in healthy elderly should be an option for increasing muscle strength. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of GH therapy on muscle strength in healthy men over 50 years old. Fourteen healthy men aged 50–70 years were evaluated at baseline for body composition and muscle strength (evaluated by leg press and bench press exercises, which focus primarily on quadriceps—lower body part and pectoralis major—upper body part—muscles, resp.). Subjects were randomised into 2 groups: GH therapy (7 subjects) and placebo (7 subjects) and reevaluated after 6 months of therapy. Thirteen subjects completed the study (6 subjects in the placebo group and 7 subjects in the GH group). Subjects of both groups were not different at baseline. After 6 months of therapy, muscle strength in the bench press responsive muscles did not increase in both groups and showed a statistically significant increase in the leg press responsive muscles in the GH group. Our study demonstrated an increase in muscle strength in the lower body part after GH therapy in healthy men. This finding must be considered and tested in frail older populations, whose physical incapacity is primarily caused by proximal muscle weakness. The trial was registered with NCT01853566.