Influence of demographic factors and sport type on growth hormone-responsive markers in elite athletes.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Nov; 91(11):4424-32.JC
GH-responsive markers of the IGF system and of collagen turnover hold promise as the basis of a GH doping test.
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of age, gender, body mass index (BMI), ethnicity, and sporting type on GH-responsive serum markers in a large cohort of elite athletes from different ethnic backgrounds.
The study was designed as a cross-sectional study.
A total of 1103 elite athletes (699 males, 404 females), aged 22.2 +/- 5.2 yr, from 12 countries and 10 major sporting categories participated in this study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Serum IGF-I, IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), acid labile subunit (ALS), and collagen markers [N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PINP), C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP), N-terminal propeptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP)] were measured.
There was a significant negative correlation (r = -0.14 to -0.58, P < 0.0005) between age and each of the GH-responsive markers. Serum IGF-I, IGFBP-3, and ALS were all lower (P < 0.05), whereas the collagen markers PINP, ICTP, and PIIINP were higher (P < 0.05) in men than in women. Multiple regression analysis indicated that age, gender, BMI, and ethnicity accounted for 23-54% of total between-subject variability of the markers. Age and gender cumulatively accounted for 91% of the attributable variation of IGF-I and more than 80% for PINP, ICTP, and PIIINP. Gender exerted the greatest effect on ALS (48%), and BMI accounted for less than 12% attributable variation for all markers. The influence of ethnicity was greatest for IGFBP-3 and ALS; however, for the other markers, it accounted for less than 6% attributable variation. Analysis of 995 athletes indicated that sporting type contributed 5-19% of attributable variation.
Age and gender were major determinants of variability of GH-responsive markers except for IGFBP-3 and ALS. Ethnicity is unlikely to confound the validity of a GH doping test based on IGF-I and these collagen markers.