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To determine serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) levels in healthy Chinese adults, establish reference ranges for serum IGF-I levels and observe the effects of age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and geographical region on serum IGF-I levels. In total, 2791 healthy adults (1339 males and 1452 females) from the north (Beijing) and south (Guizhou Province) of China were recruited following a questionnaire survey, physical examination and laboratory examination. Both sexes were divided into 13 groups according to age (18, 19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and ≥70 years). The serum IGF-I levels were measured by performing a chemiluminescent assay (Immulite 2000®), and the LMS (Lambda-Mu-Sigma) method was applied to construct smooth centile curves of age-specific IGF-I levels. Serum IGF-I levels in the adults gradually decreased with increasing age from 18 to 70 years in both the male and female participants. Although the decrease in the level of IGF-1 was more pronounced in females than in males, no significant difference was observed between the sexes, except in the 60- to 64-year-old age group (P = 0.0329). The multiple linear regression model showed that there was an inverse relationship between the serum IGF-I level and BMI (P<0.001), and the serum IGF-I level in the Guizhou population was higher than that in the Beijing population (P<0.05). The normal reference ranges for age- and sex-specific serum IGF-I levels were established for the first time in a large sample of Chinese adults. The serum IGF-I levels were significantly influenced by age, BMI and geographical region.


Huijuan Zhu, Yuan Xu, Fengying Gong, Guangliang Shan, Hongbo Yang, Ke Xu, Dianxi Zhang, Xinqi Cheng, Zhihao Zhang, Shi Chen, Linjie Wang, Hui Pan. Reference ranges for serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) in healthy Chinese adults. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0185561

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PMID: 28976993

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