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Steroid users: increased cardiovascular risk

Comment by Eugenio Greco, EACPR Prevention, Epidemiology and Population Science Section

Increased atherothrombotic markers and endothelial dysfunction in steroid users
CB Severo et al.
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, first published on February 3, 2012 doi:10.1177/2047487312437062


This “Cross-sectional study”, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, focuses on the association between the use of androgenic anabolic steroids and changes in atherothrombotic markers and endothelial function, which are compatible with increased cardiovascular risk. The Authors compared the data of 10 athletes who were users of androgenic anabolic steroids (confirmed by urine analysis), and 12 non-user athletes.
The results of body mass, blood pressure, platelet count, HDLc, hs-CRP, follicle-stimulating hormone, flow-mediated dilation, were worse in androgenic anabolic steroids users compared with non-users.

The Authors conclude that there is an increased cardiovascular risk in athletes who were users of androgenic anabolic steroids compared to non-user athletes, due to important changes in blood lipids and inflammatory markers thus reducing the endothelial function.