Navigation Links
Steroids Could Harm Heart's Pumping Ability
Date:4/27/2010

Rather than enlarged hearts in weight lifters, study finds problems contracting, relaxing,,

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of anabolic steroids weakens the heart more than had been thought, a new study of weight lifters shows.

The study provides what might be the first clear evidence that these muscle-building drugs, used widely by bodybuilders and athletes, can damage heart function, said Dr. Aaron L. Baggish, an assistant in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and lead author of a report on the study published online April 27 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

"There have been mixed assumptions but very little direct scientific study of what happens to the heart when it is exposed to an anabolic steroid, and none of what happens with chronic use," Baggish said.

Anabolic steroids, which mimic the muscle-building effects of the male hormone testosterone, have been used by athletes in various sports. Among professional baseball players, Mark McGwire recently acknowledged using them off and on for nearly a decade, including 1998, when he hit 73 home runs to set a new major league single-season record. New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has acknowledged using the drugs, and allegations have linked other big-name players, including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, with their use.

For the study, Baggish and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital enlisted 19 male weight lifters, including 12 who reported taking, on average, about 675 milligrams of steroids a week for nine years and nine who said they never used steroids. The researchers used Doppler echocardiography, which uses ultrasound to generate moving pictures of the heart's size and function, to study the function of the each weight lifter's left ventricle, which is the blood-pumping chamber.

"The common myth is that steroids make the heart grow massively large," Baggish said. "We didn't see that."

What they did see was that the hearts of the steroid users did not contract as vigorously and relax as efficiently as those of the nonusers.

The ejection fraction of the steroids users -- which is the volume of blood expelled with each beat -- was below normal in 10 of the users but only one of the nonusers. A healthy left ventricle has an ejection fraction of 55 to 70 percent but only two steroid users met that standard, the study found. Also, the measure of relaxation efficiency, which reflects the rate at which blood refills the left ventricle, was reduced by almost half in the steroid users.

"The number of persons in the study was small, and this needs to be studied in larger trials, but the data from this pilot study suggest that steroid use predisposes people to heart failure," Baggish said.

Heart failure, progressive loss of the ability to pump blood, is a leading cause of cardiac deaths.

However, it's not clear from the study how long steroids must be used to cause such heart damage, Baggish said. "Several small studies of shorter duration find damage only with heart relaxation, not contraction," he said. "As use continues, toxicity develops."

And he noted that there have been, "numerous case reports of horrific vascular events from short-term use."

Baggish said he hopes to repeat the study with a larger group of participants to confirm the findings. Meanwhile, he said, "when you add up all of the organ systems that steroids do damage to, and the heart is just one important organ, the logical recommendation is that steroid use is a no-no, for cosmetic or athletic purposes."

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more on the dangers of steroids.



SOURCES: Aaron L. Baggish, M.D., assistant in medicine, and associate director, Cardiovascular Performance Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; April 27, 2010, Circulation: Heart Failure, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Steroids May Be Overrated in Treatment of COPD
2. Molecular marker could help spot pancreatic cancer early
3. Stem cells from surgery leftovers could repair damaged hearts
4. Better vitamin D status could mean better quality of life for seniors
5. New Disability Benefits Could Soon Be Available to Vietnam Vets
6. HCL Thames Medics says more locum doctors could help address European Working Time Directive shortage
7. Dreams Could Give Learning a Boost
8. Kids Could Overdose From Nicotine-Laced Candy
9. Discovery could help diabetics and others with slow-to-heal wounds
10. Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimers Disease Risk
11. Many With Serious Eating Disorders Could Go Undiagnosed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and are derived ... eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary in the ... Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the American Society ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American ... Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. ... including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture ... said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for ... is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: