Wednesday, July 23, 2014 (HealthDay News)-More and more US teens A new study uses synthetic human growth hormone (hGH) to boost muscle and athletic performance.
Percentage of teens Those who admit to using hGH jumped to 11 percent in 2013-more than double the 2012 5 percent figure, a new study from the partnership for drug-free kids revealed.
Anxious trends highlight the need for performance-enhancing substances and other stricter regulations and oversight.Fitness“Product, group said.
“These new data show awkward developments among teens today,” Partnership President Steve Pasielve said in a group news release. “Young people are looking for and using performance-enhancing substances like synthetic hGH-and supplement Claiming to contain hGH-wants to improve athletic performance or body appearance without really knowing what substances they put in their body. “
Another expert agreed that the new data was awkward.
“The significant increase in teenagers who have been reported to use performance-enhancing substances such as steroids and synthetic growth hormone in the last few years is to educate them about their catastrophic and even fatal potential risks. We are calling for a large public health campaign, said Dr. Patricia Vguin, a pediatric endocologist at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York.
The body naturally produces human growth hormone, and experts have long known that hormones are essential for youth growth and cell production. It also helps regulate body composition, muscle and bone growth.
The partnership stated that a synthetic form of this hormone, known as hGH, has been available since 1985.Congress has approved certain uses of synthetic hGH, including related muscle wasting disorders HIV / AIDSAdult deficiency due to long-term treatment with rare pituitary tumors Short stature In a child.
However, off-label use of hGH for other medical conditions is strictly prohibited.
People who want to improve their athletic performance and look good have abused synthetic growth hormone in the past. To track the use of hGH and other performance-enhancing substances, researchers surveyed more than 3,700 high school students. They also asked 750 parents during a domestic interview.
Gender did not significantly affect the use of synthetic hGH, but the study found that race and ethnicity played a role. Black and Hispanic adolescents reported using synthetic hGH at a higher rate than white teens. Researchers found that 15% of black teens and 13% of Hispanics said they used the substance at least once, compared to 9% of white teens.
Studies also showed that there was a strong association between hGH and steroid use. Teenage steroid use also rose from 5% in 2009 to 7% in 2013.
The study’s authors warned that the use of synthetic hGH and other performance-enhancing substances and products poses serious health risks. They said there are few unregulated markets, including a variety of products that promise to increase muscle mass, athletic performance, and appearance.
“These are not products that guarantee safety and effectiveness,” says Pasierb. “With a prescription over the counter Drugs must undergo rigorous testing to prove safe before they are sold to the general public, but supplement products appear on store shelves and are removed from sale without the restrictions of the Food and Drug Administration. It needs to be proven to be really unsafe before it can be done, “Pasierb said.
He says this “creates a false perception of safety and drives impressive teens to endanger their health with potentially dangerous products that have not been tested. And synthetic hGH It is doubtful that all teens who reported using the drug actually obtained the prescribed synthetic human growth hormone, but said it contained synthetic hGH or promoted the natural production of hGH in the body. The proliferation of commercial products on the market is staggering. “
Teens are also more aware of online marketing of steroids and synthetic hGH than they were two years ago, and are less likely to think that their health is at significant risk from using performance enhancements. I am. Drug, The study revealed.
“Given the current regulatory framework of the supplement industry and the amount of products sold and sold online, knowing exactly what these products are consumed by teens. Is difficult, if not impossible, “Pasierb added.
“Therefore, the implications for parents, healthcare professionals, policy makers and regulators are that this is a clearly growing area of interest and a serious assessment of areas where current management of manufacturing and marketing is failing. It’s a potential danger for teens who need it, to prevent teens from using these products, “he explained.
Young people who do not consider these substances dangerous are more likely to use them, the study authors warned.
“The need to protect young people from predators as an easy marketing target,” said Travis Tigert, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, in a partnership news release. Is emphasized.
Fifty-eight percent of parents say they’ve talked to their children about steroids and other performance-enhancing substances, but research shows that teens believe they’ve used the product. It’s only 3%. Meanwhile, only 12% of teens report having talked with their parents. Drug It contained synthetic hGH.
“When I talk to teens, I encounter a lot of pressure that they find good,” said former professional cyclist and anti-doping advocate Tyler Hamilton in a news release. rice field.
“I feel that teens need to get better, whether it’s sports, school, social status, or appearance. This study understands what teens are facing. , Offering good opportunities for parents and other influential people to reinforce the message of unconditional love. Acceptance. ” Hamilton, who returned the Olympic gold medal after acknowledging the performance improvement, added. Drug use Throughout his career.
Vuguin had her own theory of increasing use of hGH among teens.
“The use of steroids among young men, especially those who lift weights, has been on radar for years,” she said. “But it’s amazing to see teenagers of both genders increasingly using synthetic versions of human growth hormone to maximize muscle mass and minimize body fat composition on the surface. That’s a concern, “she added.
“It’s hard to tell why teens are using these substances, but there’s a growing” selfie culture “among young people who rely on social media to project their projects. I strongly suspect that there is. Body image -Influencing these disturbing new statistics. “
In addition to tracking the use of performance-enhancing substances, research has found other trends Teen drug abuse, include:
- Almost half of teens, or 44%, say they have used it Marijuana At least once in a lifetime. Of these teens, 41% started before the age of 15.
- Approximately 1 in 4 teens, or 23%, Prescription drugs At least once.
- Percentage of teens who have tried to use it in stores Cough medicine The high jump jumped from 12% in 2012 to 15% in 2013.
-Mary Elizabeth Dallas
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Source: Patricia Vuguin, MD, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY; Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, News Release, July 23, 2014
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