Growth hormone response to graded exercise intensities is attenuated and the gender difference abolished in older adults

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laurie Wideman, Safrit-Ennis Distinguished Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: We investigated the joint impact of age, gender, and exercise intensity on growth hormone (GH) secretion. At a university center, nine young men, eight young women, seven older men, and six older women were each tested on six randomly ordered occasions [control (C) and 5 exercise conditions (Ex)]. Serum GH concentrations were measured by immunochemiluminometry [10-min samples: 0700–0900 (baseline); 0900–1300 (C or Ex + recovery)]. Integrated GH concentrations (IGHC) were calculated by trapezoidal reconstruction, and GH secretion was modeled by deconvolution analyses. Subjects exercised from 0900 to 0930 at graded intensities [standardized to individual lactate threshold (LT)] of 25 and 75% of the difference between rest and LT, LT, and 25 and 75% of the difference between LT and peak oxygen consumption. Data were analyzed via mixed-effects ANOVA for repeated measures with post hoc contrasts. We found that 1) Ex elevated IGHC above C in all four cohorts, 2) 1.75 LT Ex resulted in maximal IGHC, 3) IGHC differed by gender in young (women > men) but not older adults, 4) older adults secreted 50% less GH during graded exercise, 5) Ex selectively augmented the mass of GH secreted per burst, and 6) higher Ex + recovery IGHC in young women was due to higher baseline IGHC, rather than greater stimulated GH secretion. We conclude that young women manifest a greater absolute and incremental IGHC response to exercise than postmenopausal women and men of any age. Age diminishes the GH response to exercise and abolishes the young-adult gender difference. Attenuation of GH responses to all exercise intensities in older adults has implications for exercise prescription because higher exercise intensities may be required to stimulate GH release in older adults.

Additional Information

Journal of Applied Physiology 100: 1623-1629
Language: English
Date: 2006
aging, lactate threshold, human, somatotropic

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