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Adolescent use of anabolic-androgenic steroids and relations to self-reports of social, personality and health aspects
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.
2001 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 11, no 3, 322-328 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Over the last decade adolescent males have been shown to use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) in order to improve their sports performance and appearance, as well as in combination with alcohol and psychotropic drugs. However, the risk profile of AAS use is still not well understood. This study analysed the importance of social, personality and health factors for the use of AAS. Methods: More than 2,700 senior high school students in Uppsala, Sweden, filled out an anonymous closed-response questionnaire. Results: The findings from multiple logistic regression analyses of adolescent males (n=1,353) showed that immigrant status, average/low self-esteem, average/low perceived school achievement and use of prescription tranquillisers/sedatives had independent significant associations with the use of AAS after controlling for age and previously known factors such as strength training, truancy and heavy alcohol consumption. Conclusion: The characteristics of AAS users extend beyond activities such as strength training and multiple drug use to include social, personality and health aspects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 11, no 3, 322-328 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-89951DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/11.3.322OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-89951DiVA: diva2:161904
Available from: 2002-09-04 Created: 2002-09-04 Last updated: 2013-09-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Epidemiological and neurobiological evidence for misuse of anabolic-androgenic steroids
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Epidemiological and neurobiological evidence for misuse of anabolic-androgenic steroids
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Misuse of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), is attributed to elite athletes and body builders. The attentive involvement of AAS in acts of violence seen in society has raised interest to evaluate the importance of social, psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie the psychiatric states associated with onset of controlled misuse, its maintenance, and via abuse its transition to addiction. The objective of this thesis is to examine whether misuse of AAS shares mechanisms with epidemiological and neurobiological models of psychotropic substances.

Epidemiological studies through a survey conducted in Uppsala, Sweden, suggest that misuse of doping agents, specifically AAS, has extended also to include adolescent males taking these agents in order to improve muscle mass, enhance sports performance, become intoxicated, braver, and because it is fun to try. Intake of AAS is in a subgroup highly connected to misuse of psychotropic substances. The adolescent AAS profile is highlighted in a multivariate model positing the factors high immigrant status, perceived average/bad school achievement, truancy, average/low self-esteem, strength training, heavy alcohol consumption and use of prescription tranquillisers to be independently associated with lifetime misuse.

Neurobiological studies indicate that chronic treatment with supra-therapeutic doses of the AAS nandrolone, significantly affects dopamine receptor density in the male rat brain and the corresponding gene transcripts in the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal dopamine systems, in brain areas of importance for hedonia, reward-related learning, incentives and motoric behaviours. Identical treatment regimen affects the density of serotonin receptors in regions regulating anxiety, aggression, cognitive functions, impulsivity and its associated loss of inhibitory control. These alterations may reflect aversive conditions that could be linked to severe alleostatic states of addiction following chronic continuous "binge" intoxications of addictive drugs.

Thus, the AAS profile of misuse shares similarities with mechanisms of psychotropic substances regarding psychological and social models of onset and maintenance and with respect to AAS-induced neurobiological changes in the brain. This trend is alarming, strengthening the need of prevention and treatment programs targeting the specific subgroups of misusers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2002. 98 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Pharmacy, ISSN 0282-7484 ; 276
Pharmaceutical biosciences, Farmaceutisk biovetenskap
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Research subject
Biological Research on Drug Dependence
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-2567 (URN)91-554-5378-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2002-09-27, B41, Uppsala, 09:15
Available from: 2002-09-04 Created: 2002-09-04Bibliographically approved

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Kindlundh, Anna MSHagekull, BeritIsacson, Dag GLNyberg, Fred
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Department of Pharmaceutical BiosciencesDepartment of PsychologyDepartment of Pharmacy
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