Evidence of hyperhomocysteinaemia following long term anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) use

F.M. Grace, N. Sculthorpe, M.T. Graham, J.S. Baker, T. Garvette, D. Hullin, B. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


To examine the effects of long term (>20 years) administration of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) on plasma homocysteine (HCY), vitamin B12, and folate concentrations.

Subjects (n = 40) were divided into four distinct groups: AAS users (n = 10) who were still using at time of testing (SU), a group of AAS users (n = 10) who had been abstinent from AAS administration
for more than three months before examination (SA), bodybuilding controls (n = 10) who did not use any pharmacological ergogenic aids (BC), and sedentary male controls (SC) (n = 10).

HCY was significantly higher in SU compared with BC, SC (p<0.01), and SA (p<0.05). Fat free mass was significantly higher in both groups of AAS users (p<0.01). Daily energy intake and daily protein intake (%) were significantly higher (p<0.05) in SU and SA
compared with BC and SC groups, but was unlikely to be responsible for the observed HCY increases. Haematology was unremarkable between the groups except for the packed cell volume which was significantly higher (p<0.01) in the SU group. A significant inverse relation was observed between sex hormone binding globulin and HCY, particularly in the SU group (r = −0.828; p<0.01), indicating a possible
influence of the sex hormones in determining HCY levels.

With the mounting evidence linking the capacity for
AAS to adversely affect a number of clotting factors, the significantly higher levels of HCY and packed cell volume observed in the SU group suggests that long term AAS users are at increased risk of developing future thromboembolytic events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-389
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


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