From the clinical and experimental studies reviewed it ensues that longstanding GH/IGF1 deficiency of genetic origin does not shorten lifespan. On the contrary, it may prolong it, as is clearly evident from animal models. This occurs simultaneously with the development of some characteristic changes of early ageing (thinning of skin, wrinkling, obesity, reduction in lean body mass) but arrest of other signs, such as greying of hair. It has also been shown that high levels of GH accelerate death. How exactly GH and IGF1 affect the ageing process and duration of life remains to be established.

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