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Myth exploded
Anabolic androgenic steroid induced myocardial toxicity: an evolving problem in an ageing population


Widespread use of anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse is a rapidly increasing public health concern with an expanding demographic. Previous studies and reports have been exclusive to young individuals at low risk for traditional, non-AAS associated, cardiovascular disease. To date, the impact of AAS use on older patients has not been well characterised. The patient herein presented documents a dramatic case of an older individual who developed decompensated heart failure secondary to illicit use of AAS, highlighting an evolving problem among a rapidly expanding demographic and illustrating that a) AAS, used to alter appearance or augment performance, is no longer an issue confined to young adults; b) older individuals with ageing myocardium may be particularly susceptible to AAS toxicity and may present with fulminate congestive heart failure; and that c) AAS abstinence coupled with traditional heart failure pharmacotherapy may be an effective treatment for this condition.

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