This common drug linked to heart rhythm disorder

Credit: Unsplash+

In new research published in The Journal of Physiology, scientists from the University of Birmingham, along with German collaborators, have uncovered a concerning link between the use of anabolic steroids and an increased risk of a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation.

This finding is particularly relevant to young men who use these substances to enhance muscle mass, often influenced by social media platforms like TikTok.

Anabolic steroids, synthetic variants of the male sex hormone testosterone, are known for their use in bodybuilding.

However, this study, led by Dr. Laura Sommerfeld of UKE Hamburg, highlights the potential heart health risks associated with their misuse, especially in those genetically predisposed to heart diseases.

The research focuses on arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a heart condition that affects the formation of cell connections crucial for heart muscle stability.

ARVC is more common and severe in men, and this study suggests that anabolic steroids can exacerbate this condition, leading to atrial fibrillation—a heart rhythm disorder.

The team’s findings indicate that six weeks of anabolic steroid use can impair cell connections and reduce sodium channel function in heart tissue, resulting in slower signal conduction within the atria.

This could increase the risk of electrical problems in the heart, especially in young men with certain genetic predispositions.

Professor Larissa Fabritz pointed out the serious implications of elevated testosterone levels on heart muscle diseases like ARVC, which can lead to life-threatening heart rhythm disturbances.

This research sheds light on the specific risks associated with anabolic steroid misuse, risks that many might not be aware of.

The study emphasizes the importance of understanding the impact of anabolic steroids on heart health, particularly in young, athletic individuals.

With the growing trend of steroid use for muscle building, encouraged by social media, this research serves as a crucial warning about the potential heart-related consequences.

If you care about heart disease, please read studies that herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm, and how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that apple juice could benefit your heart health, and results showing yogurt may help lower the death risks in heart disease.

The research findings can be found in The Journal of Physiology.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.