Higher prevalence of growth hormone deficiency in men: a consequence of referral bias?

30th August 2017 (Last Updated August 30th, 2017 06:14)

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is an endocrine disorder where the pituitary gland does not make enough growth hormone. While it is most commonly seen in children, it can develop during adulthood.

Higher prevalence of growth hormone deficiency in men: a consequence of referral bias?

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is an endocrine disorder where the pituitary gland does not make enough growth hormone. While it is most commonly seen in children, it can develop during adulthood.

GHD can be present from birth, known as congenital GHD, or it can occur as a result of brain injury, known as acquired GHD. The signs and symptoms of the disease can vary. but symptoms in adults are usually more generalised and overlap with a variety of other conditions.

Epidemiological studies of GHD have revealed a higher prevalence of GHD in men, both in pediatric and adult cases. Studies have suggested that the higher prevalence in men is a result of parents being more concerned about height in boys, which results in more boys being diagnosed. However, this is unlikely to be the only explanation for the difference between sexes.

Men could be more prone to growth-related diseases due to unique biological characteristics, as seen in chronic renal insufficiency. In addition, certain types of GHD are linked to the X chromosome. This type is caused by an abnormal gene on the X chromosome, which mostly occurs in males. Females that have a defective gene present on one of their X chromosomes are carriers for that disorder, and usually do not display symptoms.

GlobalData’s epidemiological forecast for GHD shows that the diagnosed prevalence of GHD in boys in Japan is almost double that in girls, at 0.072% and 0.037% respectively. In Japanese adults, the proportion of cases is more evenly distributed across sex, with 54% of diagnosed prevalent cases of GHD in men.

In the US, GHD in children is more prevalent in boys than in girls, at 0.04% and 0.02% respectively. The same pattern is seen in the five major European markets (5EU) of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. In adults in the US and 5EU, the diagnosed prevalence of GHD in men is twice that in women at 0.02% and 0.01% respectively.

Further discussions of GHD epidemiology can be found in GlobalData’s reports, 'EpiCast: Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) – Epidemiology Forecast to 2026' and 'EpiCast Model: Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) – Epidemiology Forecast to 2026.'

The figure below highlights the sex distribution of GHD cases in the seven major markets (7MM) of the US, the 5EU, and Japan in 2016.


Related Reports

GlobalData (2017). EpiCast: Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) – Epidemiology Forecast to 2026, June 2017, GDHCER148-17

GlobalData (2017). OpportunityAnalyzer: Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) - Opportunity Analysis and Forecasts to 2026, June 2017, GDHC069POA

GlobalData (2017). EpiCast Model: Migraine – Epidemiology Forecast to 2026, August 2017, GDHCEM153-17

GlobalData (2016). EpiCast Report: Hyperparathyroidism – Epidemiology Forecast to 20245, December 2016, GDHCER142-16