25% of young steroids users have clogged coronary arteries
In 1 in 4 young men who train with weights and use anabolic steroids, coronary arteries are silting up. Brazilian researchers at the Universidade de Sao Paulo discovered this by comparing a group of young steroids users with a group of young natural bodybuilders.
The researchers studied 20 apparently healthy men aged 18-45 who had been training with weights for at least two years and had 2-4 steroid cycles a year. They also studied an equally large group of natural bodybuilders, plus a group of 10 healthy men who were not physically active.
The steroids users had more fat-free mass than the natural athletes, and also less fat. On the other hand, steroids users had less of 'good cholesterol' HDL and more of 'bad cholesterol' LDL in their blood than the natural bodybuilders.
The longer the history of use, the lower the concentration of HDL in the blood of the steroid users.
When the researchers determined the condition of the coronary arteries with scans, they found no indications of coronary disease in sedentary men and natural bodybuilders.
However, the researchers did find a preclinical deterioration of the coronary arteries among the steroids users. In this group, a quarter of the men had clogged or calcified coronary arteries. The more years of steroids use, the greater the amount of plaque the users had in their coronary arteries.
The researchers found most abnormalities in the users' left anterior descending artery.
"Long-term anabolic androgenic steroid use seems to be correlated with [...] early subclinical coronary artery disease in this population", the researchers write.
Atherosclerosis. 2019 Apr;283:100-5.
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