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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2009 Mar;88(3):192-200. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e318198b622.

Self-reported anabolic-androgenic steroids use and musculoskeletal injuries: findings from the center for the study of retired athletes health survey of retired NFL players.

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1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The relationship between musculoskeletal injuries and anabolic-androgenic steroids is not well understood. The purpose of our study was to investigate the association between self-reported anabolic-androgenic steroids use and the prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries in a unique group of retired professional football players.

DESIGN:

A general health questionnaire was completed by 2552 retired professional football players. Survey data were collected between May 2001 and April 2003. Results of self-reported musculoskeletal injuries were compared with the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids using frequency distributions and chi2 analyses.

RESULTS:

Of the retired players, 9.1% reported using anabolic-androgenic steroids during their professional career. A total of 16.3% of all offensive line and 14.8% of all defensive line players reported using anabolic-androgenic steroids. Self-reported anabolic-androgenic steroids use was significantly associated (P < 0.05) with the following self-reported, medically diagnosed, joint and cartilaginous injuries in comparison with the nonanabolic-androgenic steroids users: disc herniations, knee ligamentous/meniscal injury, elbow injuries, neck stinger/burner, spine injury, and foot/toe/ankle injuries. There was no association between anabolic-androgenic steroids use and reported muscle/tendon injuries.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings demonstrate that an association may exist between anabolic-androgenic steroids use and the prevalence of reported musculoskeletal injury sustained during a professional football career, particularly ligamentous/joint-related injuries. There may also be an associated predisposition to selected types of injuries in anabolic-androgenic steroids users.

PMID:
19847128
DOI:
10.1097/PHM.0b013e318198b622
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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