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What effects do anabolic steroids have on the blood vessels?

      Steroid abuse leads to hardening of the arteries early in
 life:  High-dose anabolic users have decreased elastin and
 increased collagen in the walls of their blood vessels.(1) 
 This stiffens the arterial walls.  

      For reasons that are not well understood, the body responds to
 its own testosterone differently than it responds to male hormones
 from other sources.(2)  For example, testosterone made by
 the body decreases cholesterol in the blood, while anabolic
 steroids from outside the body increase cholesterol.(2) 
 Anabolic steroids from outside the body decrease the amount of HDL
 and increase the amount of LDL and triglycerides in the
 blood.(2-5)  This raises the amount of
 cholesterol in the blood.(1,6,7)  Blood levels of
 HDL, LDL and triglycerides gradually return to normal after
 steroids are stopped.(3-5)  However, continuous
 steroid abuse maintains blood conditions that harden the arteries
 and lead to heart attacks.(7,8)

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REFERENCES 1. Ferenchick GS. Anabolic androgenic steroid abuse and thrombosis - is there a connection. Med Hypoth 1991 May;35(1):27-31. 2. Gutai J, LaPorte R, Kuller L, Dai W, Falvo-Gerard L, Caggiula A. Plasma testosterone, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and other lipoprotein fractions. Am J Cardiol 1981 Nov;48(5):897-902. 3. Moffatt RJ, Wallace MB, Sady SP. Effects of anabolic steroids on lipoprotein profiles of female weight lifters. Physician And Sportsmedicine 1990 Sep;18(9):106-0. 4. Baldoenzi G, Giada F, Zuliani G, Baroni L, Vitale E, Enzi G, Magnanini P, Fellin R. Lipid and apoprotein modifications in body builders during and after self-administration of anabolic steroids. Metabolism Clinical And Experimental 1990 Feb;39(2):203-8. 5. Frohlich J, Kullmer T, Urhausen A, Bergmann R, Kindermann W. Lipid profile of body builders with and without self- administration of anabolic steroids. European Journal Of Applied Physiology And Occupational Physiology 1989 Sep;59(1- 2):98-103. 6. Wilson JD. Androgen abuse by athletes. Endocrine Reviews 1988;9(2):181-99. 7. Bowman S. Anabolic steroids and infarction. British Medical Journal 1990 Mar 17;300(6726):750. 8. Lorimer DA, Hart LL. Cardiac dysfunction in athletes receiving anabolic steroids. DICP Ann Pharmacother 1990 Nov;24(11):1060- 1. by Trent Tschirgi, R. Ph. (c) 1992 University of Maryland Office of Substance Abuse Studies. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Steroid use is illegal in a vast number of countries around the world. This is not without reason. Steroids should only be used when prescribed by your doctor and under close supervision. Steroid use is not to be taken lightly and we do not in any way endorse or approve of illegal drug use. The information is provided on the same basis as all the other information on this site, as informational/entertainment value.

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