Knowledge Of Risk In Use Anabolic Androgenic Steroid In Brazilian Recreational Weightlifters

Por: A. Constantino, A. Ferreira, Marco Carlos Uchida, T. C. S. Matos e T. E. Tramontin.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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The Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS), testosterone mimetic drugs, have been widely used for improving physical
performance in sports, due to its action in raising strength and muscle hypertrophy. Its utilization is growing in
gymnasiums among weightlifters who target body beauty - rather than perform efficiency improvement - through a
significant muscular mass increase and fat tissue reduction, often suffering the side effects of AAS as a consequence.
This research aims to investigate if these substances users are aware of the possible side effects and harms they can
cause to health.

descriptive research (Koche, 2003) in which 58 subjects, being 16 women (25,38±6,97 years old) and 42 men
(25,52±6,14 years old), all AAS users that go to gyms in Brazil, selected with the aid of a survey "recretional
weightlifters in Brazilian gyms", that has been previously applied. In this survey we asked about the kind of drug used,
how long it’s been used, what kind of physical exercises they did, and if they knew about the several side effects of the
drugs before starting to use them. It’s also been questioned with effects they were experiencing.

According to our data, 85,71% of men AAS users are aware of the side effects, but only 43,75% of women know the
risks they are exposed to when using this kind of drugs. The most recurrent side effects reported were acne (59,5 % of
men and 75 % of women), depression (33,3% of men and 75 % of women), and gynecomastia (23,8%).

Concerning the use of AAS, it is commonly stated that men are the main users of this kind of drug (Bahrke et al., 2000),
which probably leads to a better awareness of the effects of these drugs among them. The results here presented clearly
show that men are more informed than women. Yet, despite the awareness of the risks, such as acne appearance,
aggressive behavior, edema, gynecomastia, testicle atrophy and premature loss of hair (Street and Antonio, 2000), men
still are the main users, searching by the use of these substances for heightening strength, muscle mass and for body fats
reduction. This research points out the need of a better clarification of the side effects for women, as well as the actual
appearance of these effects, both to men and women. It also stresses the need of a deeper awakening of health
professionals and authorities to the control of the use of these substances and clarification of possible harms for the
Brazilian population.

[1]. Bahrke, M.S.; Yesalis, C.E.; Kopstein, A.N.; Stephens, J.A.(2000). Sports Medicine;29(6): 397-405.
[2]. Street, C.& Antonio,J.(2000) Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, 14(3): 289-294.
[3]. Koche, J. D.(2003). Fundamentos da Metodologia Científica: Teoria da Ciência e prática da pesquisa. Petrópolis,
R.J. Editora Vozes.

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