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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2006 Feb 28;81(3):241-9. Epub 2005 Aug 30.

Toxicological findings and manner of death in autopsied users of anabolic androgenic steroids.

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1
Department of Forensic Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

Abstract

With the aim to characterize patterns in toxicological profile and manner of death in deceased users of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), a retrospective autopsy protocol study of 52 deceased users of AAS was undertaken. The AAS users were compared to 68 deceased users of amphetamine and/or heroin who were consecutively tested and found to be negative for AAS. Use of AAS was in the majority of cases (79%) associated with concomitant use of psychotropic substances. AAS-related deaths differed in several respects from deaths among users of heroin or amphetamine, most strikingly with regard to: (a) the median age at death, which was significantly lower for AAS users (24.5 years) than for users of heroin and/or amphetamine (34 and 40 years, respectively); (b) the manner of death, with AAS users dying significantly more often from homicide or suicide than users of other drugs; and (c) the body mass index (BMI), with AAS users exhibiting significantly higher BMI than users of other drugs. These results support the earlier reported association between use of AAS and use of other psychoactive substances. In addition, the data suggest that AAS users are more likely to become involved in incidents leading to violent death and have a higher risk of dying at a younger age than users of other drugs.

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