The incidence and prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing worldwide, especially in the elderly. Recently, functional impairment and frailty have been recognized as factors affecting the quality of life, and outcomes in elderly patients with CKD and therapeutic interventions to improve function and reduce frailty are therefore being considered. Growth hormone (GH) levels decrease with age and GH actions are impaired in CKD patients. GH stimulates protein synthesis, bone, and glucose metabolism, and affects body composition by reducing body fat and increasing lean body mass. An increase in lean body mass may reduce frailty and thus avoid functional impairment. Thus, providing GH to elderly CKD patients could potentially improve outcomes and quality of life by lowering the risk of frailty and associated functional impairment. There are few studies assessing the long-term effects of GH administration on symptoms of frailty in elderly patients with CKD. In this review we will try to shed some light on the trials assessing the administration of GH to elderly subjects and to patients with CKD and focus on the possible role GH administration may play to improve frailty and quality of life in those patients.
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