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Acromegaly is a rare, slowly progressive chronic disorder that affects adults. Although it is most often diagnosed in middle-aged adults, it is important to note that symptoms can appear at any age and if not treated can result in serious illness and premature death.

The disorder is characterized by an excess of growth hormone. Symptoms include abnormal enlargement in bones of the arms, legs, and head. The bones in the jaws and in the front of the skull are typically the most affected. Acromegaly may also cause thickening of the soft tissues of the body, particularly the heart and accelerated growth leading to tall stature. In most cases, acromegaly is caused by the growth of a benign tumor (adenoma), affecting the pituitary gland.


This infomation was taken from the University of Michigan Health System's Health Library.