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May 27, 1998

Insulin Use by Bodybuilders

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(20):1613. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-20-jbk0527

To the Editor.—In the United States, more than 1 million elite and recreational athletes use performance-enhancing drugs for muscle building purposes.1 These performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic-androgenic steroids, clenbuterol, erythropoietin, and γ-hydroxybutyrate, have potential health consequences. Complications from the predominantly illicit and unsupervised use of these compounds include liver damage, lipid abnormalities, and myocardial infarction.1,2 Many performance-enhancing compounds are injected, placing users at risk for infection with human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses, and abscesses.2 Recently, insulin has been used as a performance-enhancing drug by bodybuilders.35

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