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Commentary
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.1-4 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 Aging7-9 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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