Impact Of Long-Term PED Use Just As Serious As We Think

Credit to Ergo-Log for a written summary and interpretation of the results. Original article published here. Ultimately, I disagree with the studies conclusion that long-term PED use does not have as significant long term effects as originally thought, but will present the facts as I see them, offer my opinion, and look forward to hearing others in the brommunity chime in.

683 Swedish athletes who had competed in sports where PED use was common (powerlifting, weight lifting, wrestling, shot put and discuss) in the 60’s-80’s were questioned about their health and PED use. Out of the 683 surveyed, 143 admitted to PED use.

Respondents that claimed to use PEDs for 2 years or longer mostly reported tendon injury (42.7%), depression (11.2%) and anxiety (26.7%). When compared to the group reporting no use the main risks are around the latter two with tendon injury only slightly elevated in the PEDs groups. The researchers themselves conclude that PED use has a strong association with psychiatric problems.

The glaring miss here is that they did not find cardiovascular health issues, which makes me skeptical of the findings, period, since we know from previous studies that this is a concern - powerlifters have are 4.6 times more likely to have a premature death, with myocardial infarction as the leading cause along with suicide. That said, one particular study shows that cardiac hypertrophy may, over time, be reduced and return close to baseline - left ventricular muscle mass in one study was 281g for those on-cycle, compared to 204g for natty, and 232g for ex-peds users. Maybe, it’s not as significant as we thought after all?

You're reading this thinking, 'shit, that's no big deal then. My cardiac health will return to normal once I stop PED use, and mental health is nbd. I was crazy before PED use'. Well bro, let me add in two more thoughts. Firstly, the lack of cardiac health issues might be explained by the fact that they were dead, and unable to respond to the survey. Cheerful thought.

Second, let me reference another Ergo-Log post: long-term steroid use reduces life-span in rats, but also increases risk for premature death in humans.

"Perhaps the most important result of the present study is the demonstration that exposure to steroids produces a broad array of pathological effects that do not appear until long after exposure to steroids ceases", the biologists wrote in the last paragraph of their publication.

"There is little comparable data for humans. Widespread use of steroids did not occur until the 1970s and, probably more germane, the practice of 'stacking' or combining several analogues of testosterone at suprapharmacological levels did not become common until the 1980s".

"Thus, the delayed effects of steroid abuse seen here in mice and the consequent dramatic effect on life span may ultimately prove to be a concern for athletes and body builders abusing steroids regardless of specific pathological condition."

I’m personally inclined to believe that the health risks for PED use are significant, and the initial results presented under-representing cardiac risk is not going to change my approach in that respect. However, I’m increasingly concerned about mental health and PED use, especially those using nandrolone. These meta surveys clearly show a strong association with PED use with anxiety, depression and suicide. Look after and be kind to yourself, bro, and space out your cycles.