Objectives Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in adults is associated with a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors. Some abnormalities of cardiac structure and function have been reported in adult patients with GHD, but there are few data related to cardiac autonomic tone. Non-invasive assessment of cardiac autonomic status can be achieved by heart rate variability (HRV), which can be measured by using time-domain or frequency-domain variables. To our knowledge, short-term (6 months) effects of GH replacement therapy (GHRT) on HRV in a limited number of patients have been evaluated prospectively in only two previous studies. The present study was therefore designed to investigate the effects of GHD and 12 months of GHRT on cardiac autonomic tone in a larger number of adult patients with severe GHD.