Anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse: not only an elite performance issue?

Julien S. Baker, Non E. Thomas, Bruce Davies, Michael R. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) for reasons other than medical treatment, was considered to be restricted to the bodybuilders or professional athletes. A study in 2001, by our research unit, demonstrated a high prevalence of AAS use by recreational gym users. From 106 questionnaires, 53% (56/106) had used AAS within the past year but no females reported using AAS.

The present study was conducted amongst a similar sample of recreational gym users in the South Wales area.

From 146 questionnaires, 70% (102/146 individuals) reported AAS use and 7% (10/146 individuals) of respondents were female. Mean age of sample was 33.6 ± 6.7 years and ranged from 15-72 years of age. This research demonstrated an enormous increase in the drug, growth hormone (24%), which had been used to reduce body fat.

The demographic and social characteristics of the respondents indicated that AAS users were from differing socioeconomic backgrounds (wealthy and non-wealthy) and did not fall into any specific category (working class, middle class or upper class).

In the recreational fitness industry their use would appear to be predominantly for vanity and cosmetic reasons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-39
Number of pages2
JournalThe Open Sports Medicine Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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