This study aimed to provide novel data on Australian fatalities involving steroids.
There is emerging evidence that the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) is associated with increased risk of premature mortality. The study aimed to provide novel data on Australian fatalities involving steroids.
The study aimed to determine the circumstances of death, demographic characteristics, toxicology and major organ pathology of cases presenting to the Department of Forensic Medicine, Sydney, over the period 1 January 1996-31 December 2012 in which anabolic steroids were detected during quantitative toxicological investigations.
Case series. All cases presenting to the New South Wales Department of Forensic Medicine between 1995-2012 were retrieved in which anabolic-androgenicsteroids were detected.
A total of 24 cases were identified all male, with a mean age of 31.7 yrs. Most commonly, deaths were due to accidental drug toxicity (62.5%), followed by suicide (16.7%) and homicide (12.5%). The most commonly detected steroids were nandralone (58.3%), stanazolol (33.3%) and methandienol (20.8%). In all but one case substances other than steroids were detected, most commonly psychostimulants (66.7%). In nearly half testicular atrophy was noted, as was testicular fibrosis and arrested spermatogenesis. Left ventricular hypertrophy, was noted in 30.4%, and there was moderate to severe occlusion of the coronary arteries in 26.1%. The typical case was thus a male polydrug user in their early thirties, with drug toxicity the most common cause of death. Extensive cardiovascular disease was particularly notable.
Darke, S., Torok, M. and Duflou, J. (2014), Sudden or Unnatural Deaths Involving Anabolic-androgenic Steroids. Journal of Forensic Sciences. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12424
Novel data on harms associated with steroid use.