Abstract 18278: Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use is Associated With Systolic and Diastolic Left Ventricular Dysfunction
Background: Illicit anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse is a worldwide public health problem. While several small recent human studies suggest that AAS abuse leads to left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, this association remains incompletely explored. We therefore examined LV function in long-term AAS users (≥2 years of lifetime AAS) and age-matched, non-user comparison men.
Methods: All participants underwent a structured clinical interview to obtain a detailed medical history, prior use of AAS and other illicit drugs, and exercise exposure followed by standard 2-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography. LV systolic function was assessed by LV ejection fraction (bi-plane method) and LV diastolic function was assessed using early LV relaxation velocity (E’). Groups were compared by linear regression with adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors and lifetime use of other drugs.
Results: We evaluated 33 weightlifting current AAS users (mean [SD] age 44.0 [5.7] years), 18 weightlifting prior AAS users with > 3 months of abstinence (42.4 [4.2] years), 19 non-AAS-using weightlifters (43.2 [5.2] years), and 18 non-AAS-using non-weightlifting men (42.4 [5.2] years). Current AAS users had significantly lower LV ejection fractions than non-AAS-using weightlifters and non-weightlifting men (Table). Similarly, current AAS users showed impaired diastolic function compared to non-AAS-using weightlifters and non-weightlifting men (Table). Of note, prior AAS users showed no significant difference from the two non-AAS comparison groups, and were significantly better than current users on both indices of LV function.
Conclusions: Current AAS use is associated with statistically and clinically significant impairment of LV function. Although further confirmatory study is required, these findings suggest that AAS-induced LV dysfunction is a serious but potentially reversible pathology that regresses with AAS abstinence.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.