PED use can result in infertility, gynecomastia, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, acne and testicular atrophy. Furthermore, athletes and non-athlete weightlifters that use PEDs often engage in other high-risk health behaviors including concomitant use of other drugs such as alcohol and opiates with AAS. AAS users may be more susceptible to rage, antisocial and violent behaviors, and suicide.
"The use of performance-enhancing drugs is far more prevalent than is generally believed and deserves substantially greater investigation of its medical consequences, mechanisms, prevention and treatment," said Harrison G. Pope, Jr. of McClean Hospital at the Harvard Medical School in Belmont, MA, and another author of the statement. "Long-term observational studies (registries) to determine the health risks associated with PED use are a public health imperative."
Much of the national effort has focused on measures to detect, punish and shame elite athletes in the hope that these measures would discourage PED use by the rank-and-file PED user, who is not an athlete. The empiric experience of the past 20 years suggests that this approach has had very limited success. The statement emphasizes that PED use by athletes and non-athlete weightlifters are two distinct cultural phenomena; these two categories of PED users differ in their motivation to use PEDs and in their sociodemographic profile. The Position Statement makes the point that the PED use by non-athlete weightlifters is a major public health problem associated with potentially serious adverse health consequences.
The statement highlights several obstacles to better appreciating the adverse effects of PEDs. These include:
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The Endocrine Society