Thirty-eight obese (13 prepubertal, 25 pubertal) boys, and 17 obese (16 prepubertal, 11 pubertal) girls underwent a thyroid-releasing hormone test with assay of prolactin. Obese pre-pubertal boys had prolactin levels that were significantly below those of the control group both under basal conditions and after stimulus. In the obese pubertal boys the difference was significant only after stimulus. The pituitary prolactin reserve in obese pubertal girls was lower than that of the control group. We conclude that in children and adolescents obesity may induce a hypothalamo-pituitary disorder that affects prolactin secretion.
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