Chronic anabolic steroid use may damage heart, arteriesLong-term anabolic steroid use may weaken the heart anabolic steroids heart failure than previously thought and may increase the risk of heart failure, according to research reported in Circulation: Heart Failurean American Heart Association journal. Anabolic-androgenic steroids mimic the naturally occurring testosterone, a muscle-building hormone that promotes male sexual characteristics. In the small study, investigators found that the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, was significantly weaker during contraction systolic function in participants who had taken steroids compared to a group of similar non-steroid users. A healthy left ventricle pumps out 55 percent to 70 percent of the blood nshs denebola teacher fills the heart anabolic steroids heart failure measurement known as ejection fraction.
Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids | Circulation: Heart Failure
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.
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We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. 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.