Alen, M., & Rahkila, P. (1984). Reduced high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol in power athletes: use of male sex hormone derivates, an atherogenic factor. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 5, 341-342.

"The effect of androgenic steroids on plasma lipids was studied in seven power athletes who self-administered androgenic steroids on the average 45 mg/day during an 8-week strength training period. At the beginning of the study, no significant differences were noticed in HDL-cholesterol levels between the steroid users and the controls. After 8 weeks of strength training, the androgen users had reduced the HDL-cholesterol by 54% (from 1.47 to 0.67 mmol/l). The difference when compared to controls was highly significant (p less than 0.001). It was concluded that the use of androgenic steroids combined with strength training decreases serum HDL-cholesterol and thus may cause a higher risk for coronary heart disease".

Implication. Following the recommendation that positive drug tests should be cross-validated by auxiliary tests, this phenomenon could be a useful index. A positive test for steroids without a reduction in HDL would suggest non-use or the introduction of inappreciable amount of a steroid into the body.

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