Background: Individuals with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) require glucocorticoid therapy to replace cortisol and to control androgen excess. We sought to evaluate the effects of glucocorticoid therapy on cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes in individuals with CAH. Methods: We searched bibliographical databases through January 2016 for studies evaluating cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with CAH treated with glucocorticoids compared with controls without CAH. We used a random-effects model to synthesize quantitative data. Results: We included 20 observational studies (14 longitudinal, six cross-sectional) with a moderate to high risk of bias. The average dose of glucocorticoids (in hydrocortisone equivalents) was 9 to 26.5 mg/m 2 /d. In the meta-analysis (416 patients), compared with controls without CAH, individuals with CAH had increased systolic blood pressure [weighted mean difference (WMD), 4.44 mm Hg; 95% CI, 3.26 to 5.63 mm Hg], diastolic blood pressure (WMD, 2.35 mm Hg; 95% CI, 0.49 to 4.20 mm Hg), homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (WMD, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.02 to 0.96), and carotid intima thickness (WMD, 0.08 mm; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.15 mm). No statistically significant differences were noted in fasting blood glucose, insulin level, glucose, or insulin level after 2-hour glucose load or serum lipids. Data on cardiac events were sparse, and most of the literature focused on surrogate outcomes. Conclusion: Individuals with CAH demonstrate a high prevalence of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. The current evidence relies on surrogate outcomes. Long-term prospective studies are warranted to assess strategies for reducing cardiovascular risk in individuals with CAH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical