The use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) for reasons other than medical treatment, was
considered to be restricted to the bodybuilders or professional athletes. A study in 2001, by our research unit, demonstrated
a high prevalence of AAS use by recreational gym users. From 106 questionnaires, 53% (56/106) had used AAS
within the past year but no females reported using AAS.
The present study was conducted amongst a similar sample of recreational gym users in the South Wales area.
From 146 questionnaires, 70% (102/146 individuals) reported AAS use and 7% (10/146 individuals) of respondents
were female. Mean age of sample was 33.6 ± 6.7 years and ranged from 15-72 years of age. This research demonstrated
an enormous increase in the drug, growth hormone (24%), which had been used to reduce body fat.
The demographic and social characteristics of the respondents indicated that AAS users were from differing socioeconomic
backgrounds (wealthy and non-wealthy) and did not fall into any specific category (working class, middle class
or upper class).
In the recreational fitness industry their use would appear to be predominantly for vanity and cosmetic reasons.