Anabolic androgenic steroids in the general population: user characteristics and associations with substance use

Eur Addict Res. 2012;18(2):83-90. doi: 10.1159/000333037. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


Aims: To analyse correlates of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) use in the general male population.

Design: A national household survey.

Participants: Individuals aged 15-64 years in Sweden.

Measurements: AAS use and potential correlates of AAS use, including demographic data, financial situation, physical training, and substance use. In hierarchical logistic regression analyses, lifetime users of AAS (n = 240) were compared to all nonusers (n = 13,920) and to nonusers who reported that they had been offered AAS (n = 487).

Results: AAS use was most strongly associated with a lifetime history of illicit drug use and the misuse of prescription drugs. When controlling for substance use, AAS was associated with physical training and lower education. Illicit drug use and misuse of prescription drugs separated AAS users from nonusers who had been offered AAS. No associations were seen with AUDIT scores for risk alcohol drinking.

Conclusions: In this general population survey in men, lifetime use of AAS appears to share common characteristics with illicit substance use. Both substance use variables and physical training remained associated with AAS use when controlling for one another.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anabolic Agents*
  • Androgens*
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Resistance Training
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Androgens
  • Prescription Drugs