Men ignore serious health risks of steroid abuse in pursuit of the body beautiful

May 18, 2019

Many men continue to abuse steroids despite knowing that they have serious, life-limiting and potentially lethal side effects, according to findings to be presented in Lyon, at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2019. The study findings indicate that men using anabolic steroids to improve strength and physical performance are often aware of the side effects but choose to continue taking them. This raises serious concerns not only for their own health but that of future generations, since side effects are known to damage sperm as well as increase the risk of sexual dysfunction, heart disease and liver damage.

Anabolic steroids such as testosterone are performance-enhancing hormones that increase muscle mass and boost athletic ability, which has led to their misuse and abuse by some, and men in particular. However, the use of steroids has some life-limiting and serious side effects including reduced sperm count, erectile dysfunction, baldness, breast development and an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and liver or kidney failure. Despite this steroid misuse persists, a 2014 study estimated that worldwide 3.3% of the population or 6.4% of the male population are abusing steroids. Recent evidence has suggested that not only do steroids pose serious health risks to the individual but that they also cause damage to sperm, so could be harmful to their future children. To adequately tackle this health issue, it is necessary to establish whether men abusing steroids are fully aware of all the risks or if they are choosing to ignore them.

In this study, Dr Mykola Lykhonosov and colleagues from Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University in Russia, conducted an anonymous survey of men, who regularly attend the gym, to assess their knowledge of, use of and attitude towards the health risks of anabolic steroids. Of 550 respondents 30.4% said they used steroids, 74.3% of users were aged 22-35 years old and 70.2% of users said they were aware of the side effects. In addition, 54.8% of all respondents indicated that they would like to receive more expert information on steroids and their side effects.

Dr Lykhonosov says, "These findings were surprising, not only was the prevalence of steroid abuse high, knowledge of the damaging side effects was also high, yet this does not stop them taking them."

Dr Lykhonosov's now plans to investigate how to treat hormonal imbalances and disorders caused by steroid abuse. He also thinks that greater public awareness of steroid abuse and its health risks may help discourage users.

Dr Lykhonosov comments, "We need to tackle this growing public health problem, increasing awareness through the promotion of stories from former users, on how steroid abuse has negatively impacted on their health and lives, could be a good strong message to discourage abuse."
-end-
Conference abstract, observational, people

European Society of Endocrinology

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.