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B Ekman, F Nystrom and HJ Arnqvist

OBJECTIVE: To study plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in adults with type 1 diabetes (IDDM) in comparison with a reference population, and the influence of glycaemic control, dose of insulin, and sex on the concentration of circulating IGF-I in IDDM. DESIGN AND METHODS: Patients with type 1 diabetes were recruited consecutively from our outpatient diabetes unit. In all, 79 men and 55 women aged 20-60 years with a disease duration >/=6 years (range 6-51 years) took part in the study. A reference population of 80 men and 83 women aged 20-60 years was randomly obtained from the population registry. IGF-I was measured with radioimmunoassay after acid-ethanol extraction. RESULTS: Mean +/- s. d. values of IGF-I were lower in patients with diabetes (146+/-66 microg/l) than in controls (238+/-83 microg/l, P<0.001). Those with diabetes had lower IGF-I concentrations in all age groups and the differences were highly significant in all decades except in women aged 50-59 years. IGF-I was negatively correlated with age in patients and controls. No correlation was found between IGF-I and glycaemic control measured as haemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)) in the patients. IGF-I was positively associated with the dose of insulin/kg body weight in male patients independently of age, HbA(1c) and body mass index (P<0.03), but not in female patients (P=0.14). CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that IGF-I concentrations are low in adult patients with type 1 diabetes with a disease duration >/=6 years, independently of glycaemic control. This suggests that subcutaneous insulin substitution is inadequate to normalize circulating IGF-I concentrations in patients without endogenous insulin secretion.

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B Ekman, T Lindstrom, F Nystrom, AG Olsson, G Toss and HJ Arnqvist

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a dose titration model for recombinant human GH substitution in adult patients with GH deficiency, aiming at normal plasma levels of IGF-I. DESIGN AND METHODS: Eighteen patients participated and a start dose of 0.17 mg GH/day was used except by two men who started with 0.33 mg/day. To demonstrate a clear GH effect the patients were first titrated, with steps of 0.17 mg GH/day every 6-8 weeks, to IGF-I levels in the upper range of age-adjusted reference values. The GH dose was then reduced 1 dose step and kept for a further 6 months. For comparison we investigated 17 healthy control subjects. RESULTS: Plasma IGF-I was increased after 2 weeks on the start dose and did not increase further for up to 8 weeks. Women had significantly lower GH sensitivity than men measured as net increment of IGF-I on the start dose of GH. GH sensitivity was not changed by age. The plasma IGF-I levels increased from 76.3+/-47.0 (s.d.) to 237+/-97 microg/l at the end of the study (P<0.001), and similar IGF-I levels were obtained in both sexes. The maintenance median GH dose was 0.33 mg/day in males and 0.83 mg/day in females (P=0.017). The GH dose correlated negatively with age in both sexes. Body weight, very low density triglycerides, lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), and fasting insulin increased, whereas insulin sensitivity index (QUICKI) decreased significantly. In comparison with the controls, the patients had lower fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin and Lp(a) levels at baseline, but these differences disappeared after GH substitution. The two groups had equal insulin sensitivity (QUICKI), but 2 h oral glucose tolerance test values of blood glucose and insulin were significantly higher in the patients at the end of the study. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion our data suggest that the starting dose of GH substitution and the dose titration steps should be individualised according to GH sensitivity (gender) and the IGF-I level aimed for (age). The reduced insulin sensitivity induced by GH substitution could be viewed as a normalisation if compared with control subjects.

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Oskar Ragnarsson, Anders F Mattsson, John P Monson, Helena Filipsson Nyström, Ann-Charlotte Åkerblad, Maria Kołtowska-Häggström and Gudmundur Johannsson


Quality of life (QoL) is impaired in hypopituitary patients and patients with primary adrenal insufficiency. The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of glucocorticoid (GC) replacement on QoL. The main hypothesis was that ACTH-insufficient patients experience a dose-dependent deterioration in QoL.

Design, patients and methods

This was a retrospective analysis of data from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database). Data from 2737 adult GH-deficient (GHD) hypopituitary patients were eligible for analysis. Thirty-six per cent were ACTH sufficient and 64% ACTH insufficient receiving a mean±s.d. hydrocortisone equivalent (HCeq) dose of 22.3±8.7 mg (median 20.0). QoL at baseline and 1 year after commencement of GH replacement was assessed by the QoL-assessment of GHD in adults.


At baseline, no significant difference in QoL was observed between ACTH-sufficient and -insufficient patients. Increasing HCeq dose was associated with worse QoL. Patients on HCeq ≤10 mg had the best and patients receiving ≥25 mg demonstrated the poorest QoL. At 1 year of GH replacement, the improvement in QoL did not differ between ACTH-sufficient and -insufficient patients, and no association was observed between HCeq dose and QoL improvement.


Adult hypopituitary patients with untreated GHD receiving GC replacement have similar QoL as ACTH-sufficient patients. Among ACTH-insufficient patients, there is a dose-dependent association between increasing dose and impaired QoL. This association may be explained by supraphysiological GC exposure although it remains plausible that clinicians may have increased GC doses in order to address otherwise unexplained QoL deficits.

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Mirna Abraham-Nordling, Kristina Byström, Ove Törring, Mikael Lantz, Gertrud Berg, Jan Calissendorff, Helena Filipsson Nyström, Svante Jansson, Gun Jörneskog, F Anders Karlsson, Ernst Nyström, Hans Ohrling, Thomas Örn, Bengt Hallengren and Göran Wallin


The incidence of hyperthyroidism has been reported in various countries to be 23–93/100 000 inhabitants per year. This extended study has evaluated the incidence for ∼40% of the Swedish population of 9 million inhabitants. Sweden is considered to be iodine sufficient country.


All patients including children, who were newly diagnosed with overt hyperthyroidism in the years 2003–2005, were prospectively registered in a multicenter study. The inclusion criteria are as follows: clinical symptoms and/or signs of hyperthyroidism with plasma TSH concentration below 0.2 mIE/l and increased plasma levels of free/total triiodothyronine and/or free/total thyroxine. Patients with relapse of hyperthyroidism or thyroiditis were not included. The diagnosis of Graves' disease (GD), toxic multinodular goiter (TMNG) and solitary toxic adenoma (STA), smoking, initial treatment, occurrence of thyroid-associated eye symptoms/signs, and demographic data were registered.


A total of 2916 patients were diagnosed with de novo hyperthyroidism showing the total incidence of 27.6/100 000 inhabitants per year. The incidence of GD was 21.0/100 000 and toxic nodular goiter (TNG=STA+TMNG) occurred in 692 patients, corresponding to an annual incidence of 6.5/100 000. The incidence was higher in women compared with men (4.2:1). Seventy-five percent of the patients were diagnosed with GD, in whom thyroid-associated eye symptoms/signs occurred during diagnosis in every fifth patient. Geographical differences were observed.


The incidence of hyperthyroidism in Sweden is in a lower range compared with international reports. Seventy-five percent of patients with hyperthyroidism had GD and 20% of them had thyroid-associated eye symptoms/signs during diagnosis. The observed geographical differences require further studies.