BACKGROUND: It is known that patients with hypopituitarism have a high mortality rate due to the presence of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The aim of this study was the effect of growth hormone (GH) on the atherosclerotic markers and the adipocytokine levels. METHOD: The study was conducted on 13 adult patients with hypopituitarism and growth hormone deficiency (GHD), and they had been stabilized after receiving hormone replacement therapy for other insufficient pituitary hormones, other than GH, for more than one year. Before treatment with GH, we compared the lipid metabolism, glucose metabolism, cardiovascular risk factors and adipocytokine levels, including adiponectin, leptin, TNF-alpha and IL-6, between the GHD patients and 13 healthy adults who were of a similar age and gender distribution. Patients with GHD were treated with 1 U/day of GH for 6 months. We measured insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), blood pressure, body composition, lipid metabolism, glucose metabolism and hs-CRP, cardiac function, adiponectin, leptin, TNF-alpha and IL-6 levels, flow mediated vasodilation (FMD) and nitroglycerin mediated vasodilation (NMD) before and after GH treatment. RESULTS: The patients with hypopituitarism and GHD showed significantly higher levels of total cholesterol (P = 0.002), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (P = 0.036), hs-CRP (P = 0.0087) and leptin (P < 0.001) than did the normal healthy adults. However, there was no difference between the normal adults and the patients with GHD for the systolic and diastolic BP, the levels of apoA, apoB, fasting blood glucose(FBG) and HOMA-IR. In the subjects with GHD after treatment with GH, the level of fat mass (P = 0.0017), total cholesterol (P = 0.004), LDL-C (P = 0.001), leptin (P = 0.013), TNF-alpha (P < 0.001) and hs-CRP (P = 0.0001) were significantly reduced, while lean body mass (P = 0.0161), FFA (P = 0.049) and FMD (P = 0.0051) showed a significant increase. However, there was no significant difference in the level of the systolic and diastolic BP, LDL-C, apoA, apoB, LP (a), HOMA-IR, ejection fraction, left ventricular posterior wall, E/A ratio, intraventricular septum, NMD, intima-media thickness, adiponectin, IL-6, FBG and fasting insulin before and after GH treatment. CONCLUSION: The subjects with GHD were vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. GH therapy for 6 months had a positive effect on their various cardiovascular risk factors.