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April 9, 2012
Using steroids causes heart problems
A study was just released that once again proves the correlation between the use of anabolic steroids and negative affects on the heart. Don

Anabolic androgenic steroid use is associated with ventricular dysfunction on cardiac MRI in strength trained athletes


Uncertainty remains about possible cardiac adaptation to resistance training. Androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) use plays a potential role and may have adverse cardiovascular effects.


To elucidate the effect of resistance training and of AAS-use on cardiac dimensions and function.


Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) were performed in 156 male subjects aged 18-40 years: 52 non-athletes (maximum of 3 exercise hours/week), 52 strength-endurance (high dynamic-high static, HD-HS) athletes and 52 strength (low dynamic-high static, LD-HS) trained athletes (athletes ≥ 6 exercise hours/week). 28 LD-HS athletes denied and 24 admitted to AAS use for an average duration of 5 years (range 3 months-20 years).


No significant differences were found between non-athletes and non-AAS-using LD-HS athletes. AAS-using LD-HS athletes had significantly larger LV and RV volumes and LV wall mass than non-AAS-using LD-HS athletes, but lower than HD-HS athletes. In comparison to all other groups AAS-using LD-HS athletes showed lower ejection fractions of both ventricles (LV/RV EF 51/48% versus 55-57/51-52%) and lower E/A ratios (LV/RV 1.5/1.2 versus 1.9-2.0/1.4-1.5) as an indirect measure of diastolic function. Linear regression models demonstrated a significant effect of AAS-use on LV EDV, LV EDM, systolic function and mitral valve E/A ratio (all ANOVA-tests p < 0.05).


Strength athletes who use AAS show significantly different cardiac dimensions and biventricular systolic dysfunction and impaired ventricular inflow as compared to non-athletes and non-AAS-using strength athletes. Increased ventricular volume and mass did not exceed that of strength-endurance athletes. These findings may help raise awareness of the consequences of AAS use.


  • Athletes;
  • Cardiac MRI;
  • Anabolic androgenic steroids;
  • Strength training;
  • Ventricular function;
  • Cardiac adaptation

Figures and tables from this article:

Full-size image (48K)
Fig. 1. Comparison of AAS-using and non-AAS-using strength athletes. Cardiac MRI 4 chamber view (A, C) and short-axis view (B, D) of two strength athletes, one admitting to AAS-use (A, B) with LV/RV EF of 46/43% and mitral/tricuspid valve E/A ratio of 1.3/0.9, and one denying AAS-use (C, D) with LV/RV EF of 56/52% and mitral/tricuspid valve E/A ratio of 1.8/1.5.
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  • Tim Luijkxa, Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author,
  • Birgitta K. Velthuisa,
  • Frank J.G. Backxb,
  • Constantinus F.M. Buckensa, c,
  • Niek H.J. Prakkena,
  • Rienk Rienksd, e,
  • Willem P.Th.M. Malia,
  • Maarten J. Cramere
a Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands b Department of Rehabilitation, Nursing Science and Sports, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands c Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands d Department of Cardiology, Central Military Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands e Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands Received 12 July 2011. Revised 5 October 2011. Accepted 3 March 2012. Available online 27 March 2012.  

If you're a parent or educator looking for information on these dangerous and illegal drugs, learn how to talk to kids about steroids. A life is too precious to lose, especially to superficial ideals. We created the Taylor Hooton Foundation to ensure no more lives were lost because of steroid abuse. If you need help educated your young people, please contact us.