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HomeLifestyleExploring how anabolic steroid use may increase heart disease risk

Exploring how anabolic steroid use may increase heart disease risk


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A, Lead II ECG recordings from an unaffected individual (control) and a patient with undefined and definitive ARVC. Individual cardiac cycles with a duration of 10 s (gray traces) are overlaid with detected R waves and averaged (black trace). The PR interval (blue), P wave duration (orange), and P wave area (green) are marked. B, PR interval (box plots with medians indicated) and P wave characteristics (means ± SD indicated) obtained from semi-automated analysis of the averaged ECG. Heart rate (mean ± SEM): control, 73 ± 3 beats/min; ARVC not defined, 75 ± 2 beats/min; Definitive ARVC. 60 ± 3 beats/min. P values ​​from post hoc tests are reported in the graphs (Kruskal-Wallis (P < 0.05) with Dunn's post hoc test for PR interval; one-way ANOVA (P < 0.05) with post hoc test Bonferroni for the duration and area of ​​the P wave. ). n (number of patients): control, 12; ARVC not defined, 42; Definitive ARVC, 25. C, distribution by sex and prevalence of AA in patients with definitive ARVC in the analyzed registry. D, prevalence of AEs in patients with definitive ARVC in other registries (with weighted average indicated) and in patients with definitive and non-definitive ARVC in the registry analyzed here. #See Table 3 for detailed references. Abbreviations: AA, atrial arrhythmia; ARVC: arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Credit: The journal of physiology (2024). DOI: 10.1113/JP284597

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A, Lead II ECG recordings from an unaffected individual (control) and a patient with undefined and definitive ARVC. Individual cardiac cycles with a duration of 10 s (gray traces) are overlaid with detected R waves and averaged (black trace). The PR interval (blue), P wave duration (orange), and P wave area (green) are marked. B, PR interval (box plots with medians indicated) and P wave characteristics (means ± SD indicated) obtained from semi-automated analysis of the averaged ECG. Heart rate (mean ± SEM): control, 73 ± 3 beats/min; ARVC not defined, 75 ± 2 beats/min; Definitive ARVC. 60 ± 3 beats/min. P values ​​from post hoc tests are reported in the graphs (Kruskal-Wallis (P < 0.05) with Dunn's post hoc test for PR interval; one-way ANOVA (P < 0.05) with post hoc test Bonferroni for the duration and area of ​​the P wave. ). n (number of patients): control, 12; ARVC not defined, 42; Definitive ARVC, 25. C, distribution by sex and prevalence of AA in patients with definitive ARVC in the analyzed registry. D, prevalence of AEs in patients with definitive ARVC in other registries (with weighted average indicated) and in patients with definitive and non-definitive ARVC in the registry analyzed here. #See Table 3 for detailed references. Abbreviations: AA, atrial arrhythmia; ARVC: arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Credit: The journal of physiology (2024). DOI: 10.1113/JP284597

People who use anabolic steroids may be increasing their underlying risk of a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, a new study has found.

The new research published in The journal of physiology was conducted by an interdisciplinary consortium of clinicians and researchers led by the University of Birmingham and collaborators in Germany.

The team found that male sex hormones such as testosterone, also called anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), which are misused to build muscle, particularly among young men, may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation in individuals genetically predisposed to heart disease.

Dr. Laura Sommerfeld, postdoctoral researcher at UKE Hamburg, who completed her Ph.D. from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham who focuses on this work, is the lead author of the study.

Dr Sommerfeld said: “Our study may contribute significantly to understanding the impact on the heart health of young men who misuse anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass. Recent reports have shown that young men, in In particular, they are being attacked on social media such as Testosterone products are sold on TikTok, but we have shown how steroid misuse carries a specific risk that many people will not be aware of.”

Professor Larissa Fabritz, Professor of Inherited Heart Diseases at UKE Hamburg and Honorary President of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham, added: “Diseases of the heart muscle such as ARVC affect young, athletic people and can lead to “Atrial fibrillation is a common condition in the general population. “Elevated testosterone levels can lead to an earlier onset of these diseases.”

The scientists examined the potential effects on a condition called arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), which is genetically determined and primarily attributed to alterations in the formation of cellular connections critical to the stability of the heart muscle.

Scientists initially confirmed, based on clinical data from patients at UHB and elsewhere, that ARVC occurs more frequently and more severely in men than in women. In laboratory experiments, they found that six weeks of EAA intake, combined with impaired cellular connections, could lead to reduced sodium channel function in heart tissue and a slowing of signal conduction within the atria.

Dr Andrew Holmes, co-author and assistant professor at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Clinical Sciences, said: “This work implies that young male individuals with key inherited genetic changes are at increased risk of developing electrical problems in the heart in response to anabolic steroid abuse.

More information:
Laura C. Sommerfeld et al, Reduced plakoglobin increases the risk of sodium current defects and atrial conduction abnormalities in response to anabolic androgenic steroid abuse. The journal of physiology (2024). DOI: 10.1113/JP284597



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