Anabolic-androgenic steroid use among bodybuilders in Erbil city
Background and objective: Anabolic-androgenic steroids are synthetic testosterone derivatives with a longer duration of action than physiological androgens. They are abused by bodybuilders because of their potential to enhance muscle strength. Serious medical and psychological complications may be associated with their non-medical use. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of anabolic androgenic steroids among bodybuilders and their awareness of health-related risks.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out from the 1st of January 2019 to the end of July 2019 in 18 randomly selected gym centers in Erbil city, Iraq using stratified random sampling. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 400 bodybuilders to assess the prevalence and knowledge of using Anabolic-androgenic steroids.
Results: The study showed a high prevalence of Anabolic-androgenic steroid consumption (26.3%) among gym users in Erbil city. Anabolic-androgenic steroid use was significantly higher among participants with a longer duration of bodybuilding practice ≥4 years (P = 0.001). Anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse was significantly associated with drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and using growth hormones. Trainers were the commonest source of recommendation.
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