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April 7, 1989

If Youngsters Overdose With Anabolic Steroids, What's the Cost Anatomically and Otherwise?

JAMA. 1989;261(13):1856-1857. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420130014004

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A COMMON THEME expressed by several panelists at the recent National Institute on Drug Abuse meeting on anabolic steroids, in Rockville, Md, is that youngsters who use steroids almost invariably take a larger dose than they need to obtain the desired physical effects.

An Effect on Height?  Because steroids can cause premature closure of the epiphysis, there is concern that some young users will end up shorter than they would have been, investigators say. Whether they are more vulnerable to long-term damage caused by taking sex hormones is another area for research.Allen Rogol, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, says it appears that testosterone works—at least in part— through growth hormone in adolescent boys and that it promotes an increase in the secretion of growth hormone. He studied a group of boys with constitutional delay of growth who received testosterone and noted that the amount