BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors have been identified in adults with untreated growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Existing evidence suggests that the development of the atheromatous plaque begins early in childhood. Previous reports have shown that GHD children are prone to increased CV risks including impaired cardiac function, dyslipidemia and abnormalities in body composition. Recent studies in epigenetics and metabolomics have defined specific fingerprints that might be associated with an increased risk of CV disease.
AIM: The aim of this review is to point out the most significant biochemical and clinical predictive markers of CV disease in prepubertal children and to evaluate the effect of recombinant human growth hormone therapy on most of these alterations. The novel findings in epigenetics and metabolomics are also reviewed, with a particular focus on translating them into clinical practice.