Jeffrey Stern’s mother wanted him to have every advantage — from his schooling at Manhattan’s prestigious Dalton School to summer camp in the Berkshires.
So when Jeffrey, at age 11 and 4-foot-1, was a full foot shorter than everyone else in his class, she talked to an endocrinologist, who put him on human growth hormone.
“The doctors said that he was destined to be taller,” Margot Stern said.
Jeffrey now stands 5-foot-7, but that’s not tall enough for the 16-year-old and his mother.
“They said that the height that’s owed to him is around 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-10,” she said. “I was going to give him a chance to achieve his growth potential.”
Jeffrey is just one of at least six sophomores at the private Dalton School taking Humatrope, a designer drug for preteens that some experts call “Miracle-Gro for kids.”
The growth hormones — which are shockingly easy to get — are being used increasingly by wealthy parents looking to give their children a leg up, literally, experts say.
The trend comes thanks to a 2003 change in Food and Drug Administration regulations. Officials ruled that growth hormones were acceptable for any child who falls into the 1.2 percentile of height for their age. Before this, only children with rare medical conditions — such as human growth deficiency or Turner’s syndrome — were considered eligible for treatment.
The average American man is 5-foot-8, and 5-foot-3 is considered the bottom of the normal range, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Sales of Humatrope, the most widely prescribed growth hormone, shot up 40 percent in 2004. In 2007, manufacturer Eli Lilly reported $440 million in sales for the drug — a 6 percent increase from the year before.
Shortness now is seen as a treatable condition, and parents, without accounting for genetic predisposition, are taking their kids’ height into their own hands.
The trend does not sit well with health insurers.
Aetna covered Jeffrey’s treatments for the last four years, but in April, when his mother changed policies, the company refused to cover the $2,400-a-month shots.
Aetna no longer looked at the 5-foot-7 soccer player’s condition as a growth-hormone deficiency. It now considers his diagnosis to be “short stature,” which it doesn’t cover.
Jeffrey’s mother insists her son suffers from a medical condition. She’s taking Aetna to court in Manhattan to force them to continue the coverage.
“Aetna has medically inhibited Jeffrey Stern’s puberty for two years, and then acting as ‘God,’ determined that his growth would stop on April 1, 2009,” she claims in court papers.
So When was it so important to be tall??? I guess I can’t relate because I’m 5’9 but I remeber back in the day Being short was thing among us Amazons lol. If anything I would like to have smaller feet but You have to Work with what the Lord gave Ya! Atleast I thought as in the case above….smh