Blood pressure and rate pressure product response in males using high-dose anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS)

F. Grace, N. Sculthorpe, J. Baker, B. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The literature regarding the blood pressure response to AAS use is equivocal. In addition, there is currently little data available on the Rate Pressure Product (RPP) response to anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) use. The experimental aim of this study was to investigate the effects of AAS administration in combination with resistance training on blood pressure and rate pressure product in male amateur bodybuilders and compare the results with a morphologically matched, resistance trained control group. Subjects were divided into two groups (n=16 AAS users; n=16 controls). Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure, RPP, Resting Heart Rate and Body Composition measurements were obtained before (Pre), during (During) and 6–8 weeks following (Post) the AAS cycle in the AAS users with similar time intervals for the control group. No significant cardiovascular or morphological changes in the control group were found throughout the study. Significant increases in both diastolic (P<0.01) and mean arterial blood pressures (P<0.05) were found from Pre to Post cycle in the AAS group. RPP also increased significantly (P<0.01) from pre to post AAS cycle. All cardiovascular parameters returned to normal baseline measurements between 6 and 8 weeks post cycle. No blood pressure measurements throughout the study were consistent with clinically defined hypertension. The findings indicate that the AAS group exhibited significant increases in standard cardiovascular measurements compared with the control bodybuilders, and provides a contraindication to AAS use especially in borderline hypertensives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2003
Externally publishedYes


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