News: Anabolic Steroids Causing Heart Disease In Young Men

News: Anabolic Steroids Causing Heart Disease In Young Men

Blog Entry #55

By Admin –

Anabolic steroids have been around since the Russians utilised testosterone in the 1950’s where it was used to enhance strength and muscle mass during the Olympic games. Since then we have learnt a great deal about how anabolic steroids work, their mechanisms of action and adverse side effects.

Since Arnold came on the scene and made bodybuilding more mainstream anabolic steroid use has exploded across the world. Anabolic steroids have been used as part of programs to enhance performance to bodybuilders wanting to build more muscle mass in the offseason, helping preserve lean muscle when dieting, to regular gym goers wanting a six-pack for the summer. A wide range of groups now use anabolic steroids, some young, others older and wanting to explore the possibilities of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As anabolic steroids use has grown, we have learnt more about side effects associated with anabolic steroids, how to prevent and treat them, some temporary and others permanent and serious. However, there is one side effect that still doesn’t have a solid connection from steroid use or abuse, and that’s cardiovascular damage and heart disease.

Heart disease is probably the most feared steroid side effect as it can be fatal. A number of famous power lifters and bodybuilders have passed away in recent years, whilst all of them have been anabolic steroid and/or human growth hormone (HGH) users.

A recent Australian study in New South Wales examined 24 deaths from men ages 22 to 48 over the last 17 years. Australian steroid use has grown in recent years and so have deaths attributed to use. Almost all of the men examined showed signs of being interested in fitness. Some were bodybuilders, athletes, personal trainers and security guards. All of them showed signs of steroid use, such as testicular shrinkage, acne and large muscle mass.

”The irony is that steroid users are often health-oriented, but they’re using a drug that is damaging their bodies to the point it could kill,” says study leader Shane Darke, a professor at the national drug and alcohol research centre at University of NSW.

‘These men are doing major damage to their hearts and are substantially increasing their risk of death,” Professor Darke said. ”For a very young group in their early 30s, their cardiac health looks like what you would expect of someone twice their age.”

“If you’re using steroids, injecting steroids to bulk up, basically the irony is you’re actually causing damage to your heart.,” Darke also said.

More than half of the men analysed also had signs of testosterone suppression, such as testicular atrophy, impotence and infertility.

A large portion of deaths, around 63%, was blamed on steroid use combined with illicit drug use, most of all, cocaine and methamphetamine – either alone or in combination, which worsened heart disease.

About a quarter of deaths were caused by homicide or suicide, said Professor Darke, which links long-term steroid use with an increased risk of aggressive and violent behaviour. More of the link with steroid and “roid rage’ can be read here.

”The idea of ‘roid rage‘ works in both ways,” he says. ”They can be raging against themselves – or others. It might be helpful for steroid users to realise that mood swings, paranoia and suicidal thoughts are probably coming from steroids.”

Professor Darke states that if bodybuilders knew what damage they were doing steroid use would slow down. He aims to make Australian men more aware of the dangers.

“I’d be astonished if there was general awareness that these are drugs that cause damage to your heart,” Darke said.

Around 0.5% of the Australian population under 15 have used anabolic steroids he claimed.

Anabolic steroid side effects such as these are often a hidden problem, with little users get regular blood tests and monitoring vital signs, such as blood pressure.

At we suggest regular blood tests on liver and kidney function, cholesterol and weekly blood pressure checks when using steroids. Always seek the advice of a physician before, during and after use when possible.