A Stanford University School of Medicine meta-analysis of clinical studies on the subject published in early 2007 showed that the application of GH on healthy elderly patients increased muscle by about 2 kg and decreased body fat by the same amount.  However, these were the only positive effects from taking GH. No other critical factors were affected, such as bone density, cholesterol levels, lipid measurements, maximal oxygen consumption, or any other factor that would indicate increased fitness.  Researchers also did not discover any gain in muscle strength, which led them to believe that GH merely let the body store more water in the muscles rather than increase muscle growth. This would explain the increase in lean body mass.
It was the ethical questions that were new. Is GH not a wise use of finite healthcare resources, or is the physician’s primary responsibility to the patient? If GH is given to most extremely short children to make them taller, will the definition of “extremely short” simply rise, negating the expected social benefit? If GH is given to short children whose parents can afford it, will shortness become a permanent mark of lower social origins? More of these issues are outlined in the ethics section. Whole meetings were devoted to these questions; pediatric endocrinology had become a specialty with its own bioethics issues.