Major Clinical Study on the Side Effects of Steroids Is Bad News for Users
For years and years now (decades, really) the general consensus regarding the overall cardiovascular impact of anabolic steroids has been anything but positive.
Even still, millions and millions of people around the world – everyone from professional athletes to weekend warriors just looking to get a little stronger – are taking advantage of anabolic steroids, more now than maybe at any other time in human history.
A considerable amount of human studies, an even bigger amount of case studies, and the biggest amount of animal studies have all come back with the same final results – anabolic steroids are anything but good for the heart, for blood vessels, and for the cardiovascular system in general.
These people have yet to be persuaded to change course based off of the collected information we know about the negative side effects of steroids, but the biggest case study ever into the impact steroids have on the heart and the cardiovascular system might start to change minds.
The new research published by American cardiologists examine the overall impact anabolic steroids have had on the cardiovascular system of 86 individual male steroid users, steroid users that had been using drugs for years (on average at least seven years). Each and every one of these individuals were fanatical in the weight room, dedicated to health and wellness, and serious about packing on as many pounds of lean muscle mass as quickly as possible.
For the control group, researchers compared cardiovascular reports from these 86 male steroid users to 54 non-steroid users, again individuals that were fanatical in the weight room, dedicated to their health and wellness, and also looking to pack on pounds of lean muscle mass but not willing to use chemical cocktails to shortcut the natural process.
Unsurprisingly, and confirming all of the information already available, the anabolic steroid users had significantly weakened hearts and dramatically crippled overall cardiovascular systems.
The results came in and showed that steroids (as well as human growth hormone) caused a tremendous amount of abnormal growth of overall heart muscle, particularly when it came to the left ventricle – the ventricle responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. This resulted in sky high blood pressure, created much thicker walls of the heart muscle that stiffened things up significantly, and negatively impacted the body’s ability to pump as much blood as it would have without steroids.
The study also showed that there was some improvement in these situations when anabolic steroid users were “off cycle”, but all of these improvements were eliminated completely as soon as the individual began using anabolic steroids again. This led researchers to conclude that steroid users aren’t taking enough time to allow their heart and their body to recover.
Interestingly enough, researchers also found that the amount of plaque discovered inside of blood vessels of steroid users didn’t really start to pile up until individuals had been using steroids for anywhere between six and seven years consecutively. Once that threshold had been broken through, however, plaque deposits increased exponentially and things got really nasty around year 10 or so.