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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 16:34 GMT
Growth hormone linked with CJD
A coroner has warned that an unknown number of people could contract CJD from human growth hormones.

Barry Metcalf, from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, died aged 33 after contracting the disease when he was injected with the hormone as a child.

On Thursday, Nottinghamshire coroner Dr Nigel Chapman recorded a verdict of death from a disease caused by the injection of human growth hormones.

Between 1958 and 1985, 1,900 youngsters were injected with the hormone.

Gym collapse

Barry Metcalfe's father William told Nottingham Coroner's Court on Thursday how his son had received growth hormones in childhood to make him taller.

The hearing was told the keep-fit enthusiast's condition started to decline swiftly after he experienced a loss of balance at the gym in 2002.

Before he died in December 2003, he had lost all movement, was unable to speak, and could only communicate by blinking.

Dr Chapman commented: "I said in the very first (CJD) inquest that this was a time bomb waiting to explode.

"We do not know how many of those children will develop CJD.

"We understand that about 45 have, but what the future holds, we don't know.

"And that would be a question to ask those more expert than myself, but yes, there could well be more."

The Society for Endocrinology stressed that human growth hormone is no longer used. Recombitant, or artifical, growth hormone is used instead.

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