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Studies in the United States have shown that AAS users tend to be mostly middle-class heterosexual men with a median age of about 25 who are noncompetitive bodybuilders and non-athletes and use the drugs for cosmetic purposes."Among 12- to 17-year-old boys, use of steroids and similar drugs jumped 25 percent from 1999 to 2000, with 20 percent saying they use them for looks rather than sports, a study by insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield found."(Eisenhauer) Another study found that non-medical use of AAS among college students was at or less than 1%.These effects include harmful changes in cholesterol levels (increased low-density lipoprotein and decreased high-density lipoprotein), acne, high blood pressure, liver damage (mainly with most oral AAS), and dangerous changes in the structure of the left ventricle of the heart.Ergogenic uses for AAS in sports, racing, and bodybuilding as performance-enhancing drugs are controversial because of their adverse effects and the potential to gain unfair advantage in physical competitions.
The American College of Sports Medicine acknowledges that AAS, in the presence of adequate diet, can contribute to increases in body weight, often as lean mass increases and that the gains in muscular strength achieved through high-intensity exercise and proper diet can be additionally increased by the use of AAS in some individuals.In order to be sufficiently active when given by mouth, testosterone derivatives are alkylated at the 17α position, e.g. This modification reduces the liver's ability to break down these compounds before they reach the systemic circulation.Testosterone can be administered parenterally, but it has more irregular prolonged absorption time and greater activity in muscle in enanthate, undecanoate, or cypionate ester form.Their use is referred to as doping and banned by most major sporting bodies.For many years, AAS have been by far the most detected doping substances in IOC-accredited laboratories.