Prevalence of Anabolic Steroid Use and Associated Factors among Body-builders in Hamadan, Western Province of Iran

Zahra Razavi, Babak Moeini, Yones Shafiei, Hassan Bazmamoun


Background: Androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) are abused by a growing number of bodybuilders. This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to determine prevalence and patterns of AAS use by bodybuilders in Hamadan, western Iran.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, participants were recruited from five gym clubs in two area of Hamadan (a total of 10 clubs). Twenty-five bodybuilders from each club were administered. Questions investigating demographic information, sport history, education level, general knowledge about AAS, and their side effects were asked. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 16.

Results: The frequency of AAS use was 28.8% (72/250). Fifty-four percent of users were 25 years or younger. AAS abuse showed a significant association with duration of exercise. The drugs were suggested mostly from peers (43.1%) and coaches (36.1%). The most commonly consumed anabolic steroid was testosterone (66.7%). The most commonly reported AAS side effect was acne (18.1%). There was not significant association between general knowledge about side effects of ASS and their use.

Conclusions: The results of current survey indicate that frequency of ASS use is high in adolescents and young adult bodybuilders. Well educated bodybuilders have a higher prevalence of abuse. Awareness about the side effects of drugs is not deterrent factor for their abuse. Iranian Ministry of Sport and the Youth, and the National Council for Youth, should be urged to conduct more effective prevention strategies.


Anabolic agents; Steroids; Athletes; Adverse effects

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