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Use of growth hormone in overweight children

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Those who think otherwise have good medical treatment should know what it means. Daily injections for years until the baby is fully grown, rotating injection sites in the body to minimize scarring. Although few children have side effects, which can include severe headaches, hip problems, treatment requires multiple visits to the doctor, x-rays, blood work, Dr. Grimberg said, “gives the child a powerful message that something is wrong with him. It does not fix anything. “

According to the pediatric endocrine community, the decision to take idiopathic short-term growth hormone should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the benefits and risks for each child.

In that case, what are the benefits and risks? Although manufacturers have supported drug safety monitoring for 10 years under US authority, the report is voluntary and mandatory. However, there is a much more reliable estimate available from Sweden, where large-scale population data is collected regularly.

In December, pediatric endocrinologists at Karolinska University Hospital at JAMA Pediatrics reported that out of 3,408 patients treated with recombinant growth hormone in infants և under 25 years of age, the risk of developing a cardiovascular event, such as heart failure. for men two-thirds taller և twice as tall for women than 50,036 untreated but otherwise similar men.

The Swedish discovery follows a report by a Tokyo research team in June last year that growth hormone stimulates biomedical pathways that promote the development of atherosclerosis, which accounts for most cardiovascular events.

It is not yet known whether other long-term adverse effects will become apparent in the coming years. Giving growth hormone based on its known action, when there is no deficiency, can increase the risk of cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes. Dr. Grimberg wrote in an editorial in JAMA Pediatrics that “indirect evidence suggests that the potential for ineffective effects of growth hormone therapy is well-founded” to warrant further study.

It is equally important for parents to know how much their children can gain from daily hormone injections over the years. Although it is impossible to predict for an individual child, the average benefit for idiopathic short children is about two inches as an adult. Dr. Grimberg suggested that if there is no measurable benefit during a year of therapy, parents should consider discontinuing it.

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