Evidence of altered cardiac electrophysiology following prolonged androgenic anabolic steroid use.
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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AbstractThe non-therapeutic use of androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) is associated with sudden cardiac death. Despite this, there is no proposed mechanism by which this may occur. Signal-averaged ECG (SAECG) allows the assessment of cardiac electrical stability, reductions of which are a known risk factor for cardiac arrhythmias. The aim of the present study was to examine cardiac electrical stability using SAECG in a group (n = 15) of long-term AAS users (AAS use 21.3 ± 3.1 years) compared with a group (n = 15) of age-matched weight lifters (WL) and age-matched sedentary controls [C (n = 15)]. AS, WL and C underwent SAECG analysis at rest and following an acute bout of exercise to volitional exhaustion. SAECGs were analyzed using a 40 Hz filter and were averaged over 200 beats. Results indicate a non-significant trend for increased incidence of abnormal SAECG measures at rest in AS (P = 0.55). However, AS demonstrated a significantly higher incidence of abnormalities of SAECG following exercise than C or WL (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the higher incidence of abnormal SAECG measurements immediately post-exercise in the AAS group places them at a greater risk of sudden death. The present study provides a strong contraindication to the use of AAS.
CitationSculthorpe, N., Grace, F., Jones P., and Davies, B. (2010) 'Evidence of altered cardiac electrophysiology following prolonged androgenic anabolic steroid use', Cardiovascular toxicology, 10(4) pp. 239-43.
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