Young male adults who use anabolic-androgenic steroids are more likely to show violent behaviors, such as shooting or stabbing someone, US researchers have indicated.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are muscle-building synthetic compounds closely related to make sex hormones and legally available only by prescription.
The researchers examined the relationship between anabolic-androgenic steroid use and involvement in different types of violent behavior in a nationally representative sample of 6,283 young adult males.
The study controlled for the effects of key demographic variables, previous violent behavior, and other drug use.
The researchers observed that the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids was related to heightened levels of violent behaviors.
"The current research suggests that the media attention and public concern surrounding anabolic-androgenic steroid use may be justified given its association with violence among males in the United States," write the study's authors.
The study has been published in the online edition of the journal First Look.