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A retrospective 30-year follow-up study of former Swedish-elite male athletes in power sports with a past anabolic androgenic steroids use: a focus on mental health.

Journal article
Authors Ann-Sophie Lindqvist
Tommy Moberg
Bengt O Eriksson
Christer Ehrnborg
Thord Rosén
Claudia Fahlke
Published in British journal of sports medicine
Volume 47
Issue 15
Pages 965-969
ISSN 1473-0480
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Social Work
Department of Psychology
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Pages 965-969
Language en
Subject categories Pediatrics, Health Sciences


BACKGROUND: The knowledge concerning the long-term effect of former anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS)-use on mental health is sparse. AIM: This study aims to investigate whether previous AAS-use affects mental health, present sociodemographic data, sport activity and substance abuse in a retrospective 30-year follow-up study of former elite athletes. METHODS: Swedish male-elite power sport athletes (n=683) on the top 10 national ranking lists during any of the years 1960-1979 in wrestling, Olympic lifting, powerlifting and the throwing events in track and field answered a questionnaire. RESULTS: At least 20% of the former athletes admitted previous AAS-use. They had more often sought professional expertise for mental problems and had used illicit drugs compared to those not having used AAS. The AAS-users also differed in former sport activity pattern compared to non AAS-users. CONCLUSIONS: It is clear that a relationship exists between use of AAS and mental-health problems. Further studies need to be done in order to clarify this relationship.

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