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
- 1Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health, University of Gothenburg and the Forensic Psychiatric Clinic, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
- 2Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
- 3Department of Pediatrics, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
- 4Department of Clinical Pharmacology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
- 5Department of Endocrinology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
- 6Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
- Correspondence to Dr Ann-Sophie Lindqvist, Forensic Psychiatric Clinic, Rågården, SU-Östra sjukhuset, S-416 85 Göteborg, Sweden;
- Received 14 May 2012
- Revised 6 March 2013
- Accepted 24 March 2013
- Published Online First 23 April 2013
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.