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What Are the Effects of Steroids on Your Heart?

By Kim Nunley

Despite the strength and aesthetic benefits, anabolic steroids are dangerous to an individual's overall health. One of the concerns is the added stress steroids place on the cardiovascular system and heart, including the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.


Anabolic steroids provide individuals with increased male hormone levels, such as synthetic testosterone. With routine use, these hormones increase musculoskeletal development and male sexual characteristics.


The improvement in musculoskeletal development leads to increased strength levels and recovery abilities, making them very attractive to athletes.


Steroids increase low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and decrease high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). This leads to atherosclerosis, where fatty deposits attach to the inside walls of arteries, clogging passages and limiting blood flow.


Blood flow limitation causes blood pressure to rise, requiring the heart to work harder and the left ventricle of the heart to increase in size. Blood flow issues are critical, as blood not reaching the heart will cause a heart attack, and blood prevented from reaching the brain results in a stroke.


Educating athletes or other individuals interested in anabolic steroids about the benefits and risks is the best way of preventing abuse.

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