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Adequate levels of anabolic hormones are required for normal muscle growth and development. Decreased levels of anabolic hormone are described in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), leading to important clinical consequences. The aim of this study was to evaluate the circulating levels of anabolic hormones in stable and acute exacerbation cases of COPD compared to age-matched control subjects. A total of 146 (70 stable and 76 in acute exacerbation) male COPD patients and 79 age-matched control subjects were admitted in our study. Pulmonary function test (PFT), arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis and circulating levels of anabolic hormones, such as growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor- 1 ((IGF-1), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) and testosterone were measured and compared. Serum IGF-1, DHEAS and testosterone levels were found to be significantly lower in stable and acute exacerbation COPD (AECOPD) patients compared to healthy controls (p<0.001). In both the COPD groups, GH was also found to be significantly (p<0.000) lower in comparison with the controls. However, there was no significant difference in mean serum GH values between stable and AECOPD groups. In COPD patients FEV1 and FEV1/FVC (%), pO2, SO2 (%) were significantly correlated with IGF-1 and testosterone levels. PCO2 and HCO3 levels were found to be inversely correlated with IGF-1 and testosterone levels (p<0.05). Disturbance in anabolic hormones in COPD patients may have potential effects in the development of peripheral muscle weakness. Chronic hypoxemia or hypercapnia could conceivably damage the muscles because of their correlation with changes in the status of anabolic hormones. The decrease in anabolic hormones may influence the clinical picture and perhaps the survival of the patients with COPD.
COPD, Growth hormone, IGF-1, DHEAS, testosterone, acute exacerbation, pulmonary function test, arterial blood gases