Mount Hood Coalition Against Drug Crime

A Volunteer Community Outreach Program

News Article

New Study Puts Steroid Users at More Risk for Heart Damage and Attacks

Source: CACDA
Apr 29, 2010
Coalition resources: Research
Drug type: Steroids

A study in the current issue of the American Heart Association's Journal Circulation: Heart Failure, describes long-term steroid use causes more heart damage than what was originally thought.

The study, “Long Term Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use is Associated with Left Ventricular Dysfunction,” summarizes research from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston that looked at the risks of long-term anabolic steroid use on the heart. Specifically, the researchers were concerned that those who took this type of body-building drug over an extended period suffered more heart damage than expected.

While steroid use has long been associated with a number of unpleasant and undesirable side effects, the investigators wanted to investigate if the heart muscle itself is at risk. They looked at the heart’s ability to pump blood out of the left ventricle, called an ejection fraction, as a measure of steroid damage. The result was that 83 percent of the steroid users had a pumping deficiency, putting them at risk for heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

By contrast, only one of the control subjects, non-steroid using body builders, had a similar problem. Even though there were only 12 male weight-lifters in the study, compared to a similar group of seven non-steroid users, the authors believe the dramatic difference between the two warrants further study.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse partially funded the study. To read the entire article and study, go to