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THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with growth hormone may result in greater adult height for girls with Turner's syndrome, and the addition of low-dose estrogen to the treatment regimen may further improve results, according to research published in the March 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Judith L. Ross, M.D., of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomly assigned 149 girls 5 to 12.5 years of age to double placebo, estrogen alone, growth hormone alone, or growth hormone plus estrogen, to examine the effects of growth hormone and early ultra-low-dose estrogen both independently and in combination on adult height in girls with Turner's syndrome.
The researchers found that treatment with growth hormone resulted in a 0.78 increase in height standard-deviation score (5 cm; P < 0.001), and greater height was attained in the group that took both growth hormone and estrogen than in the group that took growth hormone only (by 0.32 standard-deviation score, or 2.1 cm; P = 0.059), suggesting a synergy between the two.
"Our study shows that growth hormone treatment increases adult height in patients with Turner's syndrome. In addition, the data suggest that combining childhood ultra-low-dose estrogen with growth hormone may improve growth and provide other potential benefits associated with early initiation of estrogen replacement," the authors write.
The study was funded in part by Eli Lilly; several authors disclosed financial relationships with Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk.
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