October 26, 2005

Provision or Distribution of Growth Hormone for “Antiaging”Clinical and Legal Issues

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Geriatrics Section, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass (Dr Perls); Department of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, and St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Houston, Tex (Dr Reisman); School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill (Dr Olshansky).

JAMA. 2005;294(16):2086-2090. doi:10.1001/jama.294.16.2086

The distribution and marketing of human growth hormone (HGH or GH) via Web sites and antiaging clinics has grown into a multimillion-dollar antiaging industry.14 Despite congressional hearings warning of deceptive marketing claims and the potential health and economic dangers associated with the antiaging industry,5,6 and statements issued by the National Institute on Aging79 and the Federal Trade Commission,10 the distribution and use of GH for antiaging is now common. For example, entering the terms “HGH” and “anti-aging” into the Google search engine generated 3 410 000 hits as of September 26, 2005, many representing Web sites and clinics marketing and selling GH.

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