Anabolic steroids are commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders.
They are known to help increase body mass but need to be used as part of an intensive training regime.
However, while using steroids is legal, supplying them to others is illegal!
There is a good reason for this, steroids can be dangerous.
There is a long list of side effects and research suggests they are capable of shortening your lifespan.
In fact, if you check the news you’ll often find reports of bodybuilders dying prematurely.
Their deaths are generally linked to steroid use.
The biggest issue is a lack of research.
Numerous studies have been completed on elite athletes and how they typically have longer lifespans and lower mortality rates than non-athletes.
Unfortunately, the same is not true for bodybuilders.
This allows the presumption that premature deaths in bodybuilders are a result of steroids.
More evidence is needed to confirm this is the case.
A good place to start is by looking at the average age of death for steroid users.
- Average age for sudden cardiac death is 29.79 years
- 93.9% of sudden cardiac deaths are male
- In 2021 over 24 professional bodybuilders suffered sudden death
- Bodybuilders using steroids have higher systolic blood pressure
- Steroid users are three times more likely to die than non users
- 20% of bodybuilders admit to using steroids
- 56% of steroid users never tell anyone they are using
- 80% of steroid users ‘Stack’ drugs
- 40% of steroid-related deaths are suicides
- 8% of users experience muscle pain
Average Age of Death for Steroid Users
1. Average Age For Sudden Cardiac Death Is 29.79 Years
PubMed recently undertook research to find the average age of sudden cardiac death in steroid users.
The findings were interesting, with 13 articles discussing existing studies.
Compiling their findings allowed PubMed to evaluate the deaths of 33 cases of sudden death over a two year period.
Of the 33 cases the average age of death was 29.79 years old.
The category of sports most represented in these deaths was bodybuilding.
It was impossible to identify the level and regularity of use as these facts weren’t reported on.
It was confirmed that all those that died used steroids.
However, most cases reported the type of steroid used.
The most common ones were nandrolone, stanozolol, and testosterone.
Left ventricular hypertrophy and cardiomegaly was present in almost all cases studied.
2. 93.9% Of Sudden Cardiac deaths Are Male
The same study from PubMed found that 31 of the 33 sudden cardiac deaths were male, just two were female.
This isn’t an overly surprising statistic as the majority of steroid users are male.
However, recent research suggests that, for every 100 male steroid users, there are approximately 40 female ones.
This could indicate that males are more at risk of sudden death due to steroids than women.
However, more research is needed to confirm this.
3. In 2021 Over 24 Professional Bodybuilders Suffered Sudden Death
A 2022 study of sudden deaths in bodybuilders found that at least two dozen competitive bodybuilders died suddenly in 2021.
These were all bodybuilders at the peak of their performance and under 40 years old.
There were more sudden deaths in those under 60 who had already retired from the sport.
It’s not known how many of these bodybuilders were using steroids.
However, the reports on their deaths highlighted heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms as a common cause.
It was the cause of death in eight of the 25 cases.
It’s worth noting 9 cases had no cause of death reported. Only one was attributed to suicide.
4. Bodybuilders Using Steroids Have Higher Systolic Blood Pressure
Several studies have shown increased health issues in those using steroids.
In general these issues revolve around cardiovascular issues.
One study looked at professional bodybuilders, specifically two groups.
In one was bodybuilders who had been using steroids for at least five years.
The other group was competitive bodybuilders who weren’t and hadn’t used steroids.
The non-users performed better in maximal cycle ergometry tests and had lower systolic blood pressure.
The study was repeated using non-competitive bodybuilders and found those using steroids to have more severely compromised blood pressure and a variety of other conditions.
This included reduced left ventricular ejection fraction and lower aerobic exercise capacity.
In short, regardless of whether they were competitive or not, bodybuilders using steroids were at higher risk of health issues.
5. Steroid Users Are Three Times More Likely To Die Than Non Users
A new report from the Journal of Medicine looks at the steroid use of 545 men.
The men were followed and medically checked over the course of 7.4 years.
During that period, 7 of the steroid users died, as opposed to 23 deaths in the control group.
The control group numbered 5450 and participants didn’t use steroids.
This translates as steroid users are three times more likely to die than non users.
Naturally, there are other variables that should be considered.
But, it is telling that the steroid group on average contacted the hospital 0.81 times a year.
The non-steroid group had an average of 0.36.
10% of the steroid group also suffered from erectile dysfunction and there were increased cases of acne and gynaecomastia.
(Journal Of Internal Medicine)
6. 20% Of Bodybuilders Admit To Using Steroids
In most sports steroids are banned, although the degree of toleration and testing varies.
It does mean that professional athletes in all fields, including bodybuilding, are reluctant to admit their use.
The same applies in non-professional situations.
Most people want others to think they have achieved their physique naturally and will, therefore, deny the use of steroids.
A recent survey of amateur weightlifters showed that 20% of them are using steroids.
However, when you consider the above, it’s highly likely that many of those asked are simply not admitting to the issue.
In short, the study found 20% of bodybuilders use steroids.
In reality, the rate is probably significantly higher.
7. 56% Of Steroid Users Never Tell Anyone They Are Using
BMC conducted an anonymous survey which was designed to encourage people to share without anyone knowing.
While the percentage of those that claimed to use steroids was still low, it did illustrate that 56% of those that are using don’t tell anyone else about what they are doing.
These people are likely to become isolated and more reliant on steroids as they are unable to share information with others.
It does show that the taboo against steroid users still exists.
8. 80% Of Steroid Users ‘Stack’ Drugs
Because anabolic steroids are not prescribed by doctors it can be difficult for anyone to confirm the exact content of the drug supplied.
This could be a factor in the higher level of deaths among steroid users.
It also makes it easier for users to ‘stack’ drugs. In other words, take multiple drugs.
Without the guidance of a doctor, most steroid users look online for advice.
This isn’t always accurate but is likely to encourage users to take multiple drugs consecutively.
Of course, this can cause an array of health issues.
Sadly, 80% of steroid users admit stacking drugs, often without any idea of the results or effect on the body.
9. 40% Of Steroid-Related Deaths Are Suicides
Steroids are known to cause an array of issues, including acne, baldness, and mood swings.
A recent study found that 40% of premature steroid-related deaths were suicides.
It’s believed that the mood-changing ability of steroids caused depressive behavior.
This was found to be more likely to cause suicide or sudden death in people as many bodybuilders already have a negative body image.
Premature deaths in bodybuilders are also more likely in those with underlying medical conditions.
Steroids may allow your body to work harder, placing additional strain on all your organs.
This can cause organ failure, especially if there is already a health issue.
10. 8% Of Users Experience Muscle Pain
Statistics are difficult to get right as many steroid users don’t admit to using them.
However, in those that do admit to using steroids, studies show an 8% likelihood of developing muscle pain.
This is due to the way steroids work on the body.
In many cases, the pain started around the injection site and gradually spread to other muscles in the body.
It should be noted that pain around injection sites is often linked with infections, which can cause an array of complications.
Treatment is often harder as many steroid users won’t admit to a doctor they are on steroids.
How To Stop Using Steroids
If you’re using steroids and seeing muscle gains you’ll be reluctant to stop, even though the product is harmful and may lead to premature death.
The good news is you can continue to make gains without risking your health.
You simply need to know how to stop using steroids.
Cold turkey means simply stopping.
It takes a lot of willpower and you’ll need plenty of support.
This approach can work quickly, but there will be various symptoms you will need to deal with.
It’s also worth noting that this approach generally increases the chances of relapsing and starting steroid use again.
Withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person.
You’re likely to suffer from headaches, trouble concentrating, nausea, and a lack of appetite.
It’s also normal to feel tired all the time, have muscle aches, a decreased sex drive, and feel depressed.
In fact, people that go cold turkey can often become so depressed they feel suicidal.
In short, they need someone to talk to.
The alternative is to gradually reduce the amount of steroids you are taking.
This approach should be supervised by a medical professional.
As you’ll be gradually reducing the amount of steroids you take, you’ll be less likely to experience the side-effects associated with cold turkey.
Side effects are still possible but they will be minimal.
Of course, in both scenarios it is advisable to stop weight lifting for a couple of weeks.
This will help your body heal.
When you restart bodybuilding, focus on lighter weights and form.
It won’t take long to regain your lifting level.
Not all steroid users will die young.
The statistics are an average, meaning some will die much older and others will be younger.
However, one thing is true, regardless of when you may die.
Using steroids regularly will cause damage to various parts of your body, including your heart.
You are more likely to have cardiovascular and other health issues.
It’s time to read these statistics and stop using steroids.
You can still generate the same gains.