Prolonged application of anabolic steroids may cause different heart diseases. It enhances risks linked with heart failure. These statements have been noted in a study that has been presented in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids work like the hormone testosterone which occurs naturally and that is responsible for development of male sex features.
The leader of the study Aaron L. Baggish says that in addition to the factor that anabolic steroids are illegal, they are associated with negative consequences for health. He notices that it is the first time, when negative influence of long-term intake of steroids on heart is clearly realized.
The research displayed that the left ventricle in consumers of steroids was essentially weaker during contraction than in those that didn’t administer steroids.
A left ventricle that acts correctly pumps out 55-70 % of the blood which fills the heart.
12 steroid users were implicated in the study. It was demonstrated that the left ventricles of 83 % these steroid users worked incorrectly: they pumped out less than 55 % of the blood. Among the examined non-users only one person had problems linked with the function of the left ventricle.
The research manifested that ventricle relaxation among steroid users was reduced by circa half. It was 0, 93 among users of steroids; 1, 80 – among non-users. The structure of the left ventricle was the same in both groups: steroid users and non-users.
It was used the test “Doppler echocardiography” for examination of function and structure of the left ventricle. This technique uses ultrasound for creation of moving pictures of the heart and its blood flow.
The group of steroid users included 12 weightlifters at the age of about 40 that confirmed that they applied approximately 675 mg of steroids per week for 9 years. Another group included weightlifters who didn’t use steroids. Both groups had similar physical activity and the same risks connected with heart diseases. But they had differences in body mass and muscle size. The consumers of steroids had more muscular appearance.
Although small number of steroid users has been included in the research, the results have demonstrated that there is a strong link between intake of steroids and heart impairment.
The scientists decided to conduct further researches in order to support the results of this study.
Baggish and his colleagues hope that people will realize that application of steroids can cause heart troubles and different unexplained heart dysfunctions in young persons.