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The University of Birmingham’s recent research underscores the importance of natural approaches to fitness due to potential heart health risks associated with the long-term use of anabolic steroids. Athletes, bodybuilders, and entertainers have relied on these substances for decades to enhance muscle mass beyond what diet and exercise alone can achieve. However, the study highlights the cardiovascular implications, urging individuals to consider safer, all-natural methods for achieving their fitness goals.

Taking testosterone increases risk of atrial fibrillation

Researchers have found that taking testosterone could heighten the risk of atrial fibrillation in individuals with a preexisting predisposition.

According to the study, male sex hormones, known as androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS), may elevate the risk of atrial fibrillation in those with a genetic predisposition to heart issues. These steroids are commonly misused, particularly by young men aiming to enhance muscle growth.

The research examines the effects of anabolic steroid misuse on the heart health of young men. Dr. Laura Sommerfeld, the lead author, highlights the significance of their findings, emphasizing the specific risks associated with steroid misuse. She added that study sheds light on a concerning trend of young men being targeted on social media platforms like TikTok to purchase testosterone products.

Heart muscle diseases like arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) can be particularly dangerous for young, athletic individuals, often leading to life-threatening heart rhythm disturbances. Atrial fibrillation, a common condition, affects many people in the general population. Professor Larissa Fabritz, Chair of Inherited Cardiac Conditions at UKE Hamburg said that elevated testosterone levels may lead to an earlier onset of these diseases.

ARVC prevalent and severe in men than women

In the latest study, researchers focused on exploring potential effects on ARVC, a condition primarily caused by disruptions in cell connections crucial for heart muscle stability

Researchers analyzed clinical patient data and found that ARVC is more common and severe in men than in women. Through laboratory experiments, they revealed that six weeks of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) intake, along with compromised cell connections, may decrease sodium channel activity in heart tissue, potentially causing slower signal conduction in the atria.