Latest US Drug Overdose: Hormones for Short Kids

Prevalence of 'lifestyle drugs' when some have no healthcare indictment of system
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 1:55 PM CDT
Sebastian Ferrero was small for his age, and doctors recommended testing to determine if he might be a candidate for growth hormone therapy. He died after a medical mistake.   (AP Photo/Family photo)
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(Newser) – Since 2003, when the FDA relaxed restrictions on the use of growth hormone (GH) for children, more parents have been looking to give their shortest offspring a leg up in the world. But while many health professionals agree that taller kids may have higher self-esteem, dosing the short ones may not be worth it, Rahul Parikh writes for Salon.

Short stature probably isn't as bad on the psyche as people think: despite oft-cited examples such as Napoleon, most small people are as well adjusted as their tall peers. The bigger picture, the doctor writes, shows how broken the US health care system is: “What other country in the world can offer pricey enhancements and call it medical care, and at the same time have millions of children unable to get access to basic medical services?”