It is generally assumed that endocrine 'cure' of hypercortisolism after successful treatment for Cushing's syndrome (CS) is associated with reversal of increased morbidity and mortality, typical of the active disease. However, recent data do not support this idea; increased cardiovascular risk is still present 5 years after endocrine cure, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), although improved when compared to the active phase of hypercortisolism, is still impaired when compared to normal population. Abnormal body composition typical of hypercortisolism (i.e., increased total and trunk fat, reduced bone mass and lean body mass) is not completely normalized, even years after controlling hypercortisolism. Thus, control of hypercortisolism in CS does not normalize HRQoL, long-term cardiovascular risk and morbidity, body composition nor some metabolic parameters. Whether the same occurs in patients exposed to pharmacological doses of exogenous glucocorticoids, and whether the body composition abnormalities associated with the exposure to exogenous glucocorticoids are reversible or not, are worth considering. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.