Study finds steroid use could weaken heart

April 27, 2010 4:49:47 PM PDT
In a small but significant study investigators found prolonged steroid use could weaken the heart and may increase the risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

Anabolic steroids mimic naturally occurring testosterone, a muscle building hormone.

Researchers compared a group of steroid using male weight lifters to other weight lifters who did not use the drugs. The results in the journal Circulation show that the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber was much weaker in those who had taken steroids.

Until now the precise effects of steroids on the heart has been unclear mostly because steroid users are just now reaching the age when heart problems surface.