Can Steroid use Increase the Risk of Heart Failure?

According to the Boston Globe, a new study shows that long-term steroid use can severely damage the heart, increasing the risk of sudden heart failure.

McLean Hospital conducted a study with 12 bodybuilder participants who regularly use steroids to build muscle due to a lack of information on the effects of steroid use on the heart. According to the Globe, those who used steroids could only pump 50% of the blood that passed through the left ventricle, compared to a healthy individual who can pump an average of 55 to 70%.

The study found that “cardiac dysfunction in long-term [steroids] users appears to be more severe than previously reported, and may be sufficient to increase the risk of heart failure,” according to the Globe.

Anabolic steroids, in addition to being illegal, have important health consequences,” said Aaron L. Baggish, M.D., instructor in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “I think for the first time we’re starting to realize that the heart is one of the organs that is negatively impacted by long-term steroid use.”

Previously, the precise effects of steroid use on heart dysfunction were unknown. The fact that illegal anabolic steroid use is relatively new complicates studies of steroid-related heart injury.

This study adds to the list of reasons why young adults should consider purchasing life insurance. Many healthy, single adults may consider life insurance to be a waste of money; however, in the event of a sudden death, a life insurance policy would assist families in covering funeral expenses as well as any student loans or other debts incurred. Young people may benefit from lower premiums and rates as well.

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