(HealthDay News) — There is a strong relationship between growth hormone treatment during childhood and subsequent hemorrhagic stroke, according to a study published online in Neurology.

Amélie Poidvin, MD, from University Paris Diderot, and colleagues evaluated adult morbidity data (2008 to 2010) for 6,874 children with idiopathic isolated growth hormone (GH) deficiency or short stature who started GH treatment between 1985 and 1996. 

Medical records were used to validate cerebrovascular events. Imaging data were classified according to standard definitions of subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke. Comparisons were made to population incidence of stroke using data from registries (2000 to 2012).

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The researchers observed a significantly higher risk for stroke among patients treated with GH in childhood, compared with the registry references. A very substantially and significantly higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke (standardized incidence ratio [IR] from 3.5 to 7.0 according to the registry rates considered), particularly subarachnoid hemorrhage (standardized IR from 5.7 to 9.3), accounted for the excess risk for stroke.

“Patients treated with GH worldwide should be advised about this association and further studies should evaluate the potentially causal role of GH treatment in these findings,” the researchers wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Poidvin A et al. Neurology. 2014;doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000737.