Long-term anabolic steroid use may weaken heart more than previously thoughtThis content has not been reviewed within the past year and may not represent WebMD's most up-to-date information. To find the most current information, please enter nasal corticosteroids for sinusitis topic sterouds interest into our search box. April 27, -- Long-term use of anabolic steroids appears to weaken the heartand it is not clear if this weakening is reversible, researchers say. In a small but alarming new study, middle-aged weight lifters who took steroids for roughly a decade showed evidence of impaired heart pumping function that was effcts seen in weight eteroids who did not take steroids. The finding suggests that many years of anabolic steroid use weakens the heart more than has been previously recognized, says cardiologist and study researcher Aaron L. It may also have important public health implications because the use of steroids to improve sports anzbolic is no longer the exclusive domain of a small group of elite athletes. Steroids use is now anabolic steroids effects on heart in fighting sports, anabolic steroids effects on heart as boxing and mixed martial arts, in addition to weight liftingBaggish says.
Anabolic Steroids and the Heart
Anabolic-androgenic steroids mimic naturally occurring testosterone, a muscle-building hormone that promotes male sexual characteristics. Since illicit use of these steroids became widespread in the American general population in the s, those users are now reaching middle-age and adverse long-term effects are becoming evident.
Researchers conducted an observational study of male weightlifters: Of the users, 58 were on the drug and 28 were off the drug during evaluations. The off-drug users had last used these steroids an average of 15 months prior to these evaluations. Anabolic steroid users showed higher body- and fat-free mass indexes, consistent with known effects of anabolic steroids.
Using two-dimensional ultrasound imaging, researchers found that the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, was significantly weaker during contraction systolic function in those taking anabolic steroids compared to the non-steroid users. Seventy-one percent of the anabolic steroid users who were on-drug at the time of evaluation had a low pumping capacity less than 52 percent whereas off-drug users had largely normal pumping capacity.
In contrast, researchers found that only two of the non-users had a low pumping capacity. Diastolic function, which is when the left ventricle relaxes and fills with blood, was impaired both for on-drug and off-drug anabolic steroid users. The researchers said this suggests a more permanent heart problem.
In addition to documenting impairments in heart function, researchers used coronary CT scans to examine the potential link between anabolic steroid use and coronary artery disease. This portion of the study revealed strong associations between the lifetime duration of illicit anabolic steroid use and the amount of plaque build-up in the coronary arteries.
About a million of them, almost all of whom are male, have developed anabolic steroid dependence. Most people relate anabolic steroids to cheating among athletes and fail to realize that there is a large population of men who have developed dependence upon these drugs, but who are not readily visible.
Other co-authors are Rory B. Author disclosures are on the manuscript. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.
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Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Life is why, science is how. Skip newsroom navigation Newsroom Home. Hardening of the arteries is associated with long-term anabolic steroid use. The heart can recover pumping ability after anabolic steroid use stops, but the ability to relax between beats is less reversible.
Embargoed until 3 p. A grant from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse funded the study. A heart illustration and researcher photos are available on the right column of the release link - http: The link provided below is for convenience only, and is not an endorsement of either the linked-to entity or any product or service.