Br J Sports Med. 2013 Apr 23. [Epub ahead of print]
A retrospective 30-year follow-up study of former Swedish-elite male athletes in power sports with a past anabolic androgenic steroids use: a focus on mental health.
Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health, University of Gothenburg and the Forensic Psychiatric Clinic, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
The knowledge concerning the long-term effect of former anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS)-use on mental health is sparse.
This study aims to investigate whether previous AAS-use affects mental health, present sociodemographic data, sport activity and substance abuse in a retrospective 30-year follow-up study of former elite athletes.
Swedish male-elite power sport athletes (n=683) on the top 10 national ranking lists during any of the years 1960-1979 in wrestling, Olympic lifting, powerlifting and the throwing events in track and field answered a questionnaire.
At least 20% of the former athletes admitted previous AAS-use. They had more often sought professional expertise for mental problems and had used illicit drugs compared to those not having used AAS. The AAS-users also differed in former sport activity pattern compared to non AAS-users.
It is clear that a relationship exists between use of AAS and mental-health problems. Further studies need to be done in order to clarify this relationship.