Rosén and Bengtsson have previously estimated—in a retrospective manner—long-term prognosis in patients with hypopituitarism living in the Göteborg region of Sweden (1). Life expectancy was found to be shortened; mortality was increased, not due to the primary disease (mainly pituitary tumours) but more to an increased risk of premature death from cardiovascular diseases; the risk of death from malignant tumours tended to be decreased. Bengtsson and colleagues, too, have reported epidemiologic data according to which excess mortality in patients with acromegaly is not due primarily to manifestations caused by tumour mass but rather to manifestations of growth hormone (GH) excess. The overall premature mortality was increased about three-fold due to cardiovascular and malignant disease (2). Excess death rate in patients with acromegaly is partially attenuated with therapy.
Rosén et al., in this issue, report on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with adult onset GH deficiency, i.e. patients with pituitary insufficiency