Send to

Choose Destination
Pharmacotherapy. 2011 Aug;31(8):757-66. doi: 10.1592/phco.31.8.757.

The Anabolic 500 survey: characteristics of male users versus nonusers of anabolic-androgenic steroids for strength training.

Author information

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Touro University College of Pharmacy, Vallejo, California 94592, USA.



To contrast the characteristics of two groups of men who participated in strength-training exercise-those who reported anabolicandrogenic steroid (AAS) use versus those who reported no AAS use.


Analysis of data from the Anabolic 500, a cross-sectional survey.


Five hundred six male self-reported AAS users (mean age 29.3 yrs) and 771 male self-reported nonusers of AAS (mean age 25.2 yrs) who completed an online survey between February 19 and June 30, 2009.


Respondents were recruited from Internet discussion boards of 38 fitness, bodybuilding, weightlifting, and steroid Web sites. The respondents provided online informed consent and completed the Anabolic 500, a 99-item Web-based survey. Data were collected on demographics, use of AAS and other performance-enhancing agents, alcohol and illicit drug use, substance dependence disorder, other Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision diagnoses, and history of sexual and/or physical abuse. Most (70.4%) of the AAS users were recreational exercisers who reported using an average of 11.1 performance-enhancing agents in their routine. Compared with nonusers, the AAS users were more likely to meet criteria for substance dependence disorder (23.4% vs 11.2%, p<0.001), report a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder (10.1% vs 6.1%, p=0.010), use cocaine within the past 12 months (11.3% vs 4.7%, p<0.001), and report a history of sexual abuse (6.1% vs 2.7%, p=0.005).


Most of the AAS users in this study were recreational exercisers who practiced polypharmacy. The AAS users were more likely than nonusers to meet criteria for substance dependence disorder, report a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, report recent cocaine use, and have a history of sexual abuse. The information uncovered in this study may help clinicians and researchers develop appropriate intervention strategies for AAS abuse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center