n International SportMed Journal - The prevalence and determinants of anabolic steroid use among fitness centre attendees in Lebanon : original research
|Article Title||The prevalence and determinants of anabolic steroid use among fitness centre attendees in Lebanon : original research|
|© Publisher:||International Federation of Sports Medicine|
|Journal||International SportMed Journal|
|Affiliations||1 American University of Beirut, Lebanon, 2 American University of Beirut, Lebanon and 3 American University of Beirut, Lebanon|
|Publication Date||Dec 2014|
|Pages||391 - 401|
|Keyword(s)||Anabolic steroids, Determinants, Epidemiology, Media literacy and Prevalence|
Background : Non-medical anabolic steroid (AS) use in non-professional athletes is an increasingly recognized public health problem in Europe and the United States but poorly studied in the Middle East. Research question : The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence and determinants of anabolic steroid use amongst adult fitness centre attendees in the Greater Beirut area, Lebanon. Type of study : A cross-sectional study design was adopted. Methods :Subjects: The targeted population included all gym attendees in Greater Beirut aged 18 or above. Professional or career athletes competing in organized sports were excluded. Questionnaire: A questionnaire was used to survey participants on demographic information, history of anabolic steroid usage and possible determinants of use. Sampling: A list of 53 fitness centres in the Greater Beirut area was identified. Thirty-three gyms agreed to permit access to their centres. Trained research assistants distributed the questionnaire to all gym attendees on arrival, during equally selected day and evening intervals. A total of 523 gym attendees completed the survey. Results : The prevalence of any history of anabolic steroid use was 10.7%. The majority of users (78.2%) were aware of the adverse health effects. The main reason for usage reported was body image enhancement (82.0%). Demographic factors associated with anabolic steroid use were: male gender, separated/divorced status and full-time employment. Conclusion : Non-medical anabolic steroid use is a public health concern in Lebanon that should be addressed by monitoring AS use in health clubs and with educational programs aimed at high-risk groups, health practitioners and health clubs that not only focus on risk awareness but also on media literacy and body image attitudes.
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