Children who have been prescribed the
growth hormone may be at greater risk of a stroke in early adulthood suggests a
new study led by Dr. Amélie Poidvin of Paris Descartes University.
Strokes are largely caused by the bursting
open of blood cells and the hormone might put children who receive it at a
greater risk. Lead Researcher, Dr. Amélie Poidvin of Paris Descartes University
said, "This information should also be made available to those who misuse
(growth hormone) for improving athletic performances, body building, and other
For the new study, researchers analysed
data on 6,874 children who were born before 1990 and received synthetic growth
hormone in France between 1985 and 1996. Participants of the study were treated
for low-risk conditions, such as not producing enough growth hormone on their
own or having short stature.
After about 17 years post the treatment,
scientists followed up with these kids and they were asked to fill out an
extensive questionnaire regarding health issues or concerns. The study revealed
that atleast eleven of them who had been recipients of the growth hormone as
kids had been victims of strokes during the course of their treatment and out
of that there were 8 who had hemorrhagic strokes. Researchers concluded that
growth hormones increase your chances of a stroke by almost 7.5 times more.
The United States government first approved
the 'growth hormone' in the mid 80s. It was given to kids for a host of
different reasons. It is used to treat children and teens when their pituitary
gland fails to produce enough natural growth hormone and also to hasten growth
and increase height when a child is short.
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Survey
revealed that an increasing number of U.S. teens use growth hormone simply to
boost their muscles and athletic ability. Between 2012 and 2013, the percentage
of teens that had admitted to using growth hormone was more than double, from 5
percent to 11 percent.
The researchers however have reported that
the risk of stroke is still low and there is little known about the effects
this growth hormone will have on children in the long run. The findings of this
study were limited by the methods used in the study.