Sewage in Your Arteries

Sewage in Your Arteries

That's what YOU have - if you're a steroid user!


BY WILLIAM N TAYLOR, MD


 

For the first time since medical sci­ence added anabolic steroids to the list of medical therapeutics in the ]950s, sports-medicine experts have acknowl­edged that these drugs may enhance some physical parameters related to athletic performance.

 

The annual convention of the Amer­ican College of Sports Medicine held in San Diego (May 23-26, 1984) re­newed the discussion on the use of an­abolic steroids by athletes. An entire day of this meeting was devoted to the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone in athletics. The con­tent of this medical meeting of the minds is not novel, but its concept may alter the future of athletics.

 

These points came out in the meeting:

 

1) Anabolic steroid use by athletes Is increasing, and even some nonath­letes are taking the drugs.

 

2) Many athletes consider anabolic steroids a necessary part of their training.

 

3) Anabolic steroids are believed to enhance strength, power and muscle size.

 

4) Athletes will continue to use ana­bolic steroids until something more ef­fective comes along.

 

5) Further definitive, interdiscipli­nary investigative studies must be begun.

 

6) Sports-medicine authorities should accept the results drawn from proper­ly designed studies with athletes and anabolic steroids.

 

7) The use of human growth hor­mone by athletes is also increasing.

 

8) Hormonal manipulation of athletes will go on, and the variety of hor­mones used will probably increase.

 

At its San Diego meeting, the Ameri­can College of Sports Medicine ac­knowledged the potential danger of anabolic steroids to the cardiovascular system and the mind. Dr. O. Lynn Webb, a clinical physician in New Castle, In­diana, has shown that the athlete who uses anabolic steroids has blood-lipid profiles whose risk factors equal early heart disease and sudden death. How­ever, none of the patients so far have been proven by cardiac catherization to have clogged heart arteries. Even so, the high-density lipoprotein choles­terol (HDL-C) levels, which are believed to protect against heart disease, were at least 50% lower when the athletes were on anabolic steroids.

 

The apparent self-administered doses of anabolic steroids the athletes were taking in Dr. 1X/ebb's case study were:

 

• 50-100 mg Dianahol daily, taken together with —

 

• 100-200 mg testosterone bWebb's injection, along with —

 

• 100-200 mg Dec-adurabolin by weekly injection.

 

The average HDL-C levels were drawn during the self-administration phase of the steroid regimen, and also during periods off the drugs. Mean values were:

 

• HDL-C levels on the anabolics: 29 nigldt (29 milligrams per deciliter of blood).

 

• HDL-C levels off the anabolics: 61 mg/d1.

 

Furthermore, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). which at higher levels is thought to promote atherosclerosis and heart disease, was found to be:

• LI)1.-C levels on the anabolic& 150 mg/d1.

• LDL-C levels off the anaholics: 125 mgAll.

With this current knowledge regard­ing these changes in lipid profiles, it's estimated that this particular anabolic 

steroid dosing probably quadruples the risk of heart attack! In some ath­letes, the residual effects of the anabol­ic steroids relating to this atherogenic blood-lipid persisted up to seven months after stopping the drugs.

There is strong evidence that anabol­ic steroids in such high doses can Cause a heart attack by "sludging" coronary arteries with waste material.

Athletes who increase muscle mass and who do not undergo regular aero­bic training may have no greater im­munity to cardiac disease than seden­tary people because such athletes have a ratio of body mass to heart .mass similar to that of pencilnecks. Adding the use of anabolic steroids to this situation spells danger!

Another significant parameter that must be considered is the psychologi­cal effect that anabolic steroids have on many athletes. The drug can stimulate, in particular, aggressiveness and hos­tility. Moreover, if the athlete who's us­ing anabolic steroids keeps these traits bottled up, he or she may be flirting with a fatal heart attack.

In summary, I feel that the accusa­tions and the early supportive scienti­fic evidence which pinpoint anabolic steroids as a significant cause of early heart disease and premature death are warranted by the following factors:

 

I) The atherogenic, artery-clogging blood-lipid profile changes that reflect very severely depressed HDL-C levels and increases in the 1.01-C levels.

 

2) The psychological effects that may stress the heart.

 

it my theories and thOse of others have met are correct, the athletes who self-experiment with anabolic steroids may begin to fill the nation's cardiac intensive-care units. Therefore, it is my recommendation that all athletes take heed of this warning: If you stop tak­ing anabolic steroids, it may take some, what longer to reach your goals, but you will have a much longer time to reflect on your efforts. Thu may live to thank me for this contribution, for I believe that otherwise you or some of your friends will die very premature­ly because of the direct effects of anabolic steroids.