Growth hormones for short children are hardly worth using, researchers have discovered. They found that the hormones improved the height of small children by such an insignificant amount that their widespread use helped by glowing publicity in the l

Children given biosynthetic human growth hormone (r-hGH) showed improvements in height of just 2.8 cm in boys and 2.5 cm in girls.

Two researchers from the Middlesex Hospital in London gave 16 short children the hormone, and compared their progress with a group of 10 other short children.

Another study, by researchers at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in Canada, came to a similar conclusion after testing the hormone on girls suffering from Turner’s syndrome, which restricts height.

Only four of the 17 patients given 15 mg a week of growth hormone had final heights which were 5 cm or more above likely heights without the hormone.

!AThe Lancet, 1996; 348: 13-16 and 25-27.

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