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Clinics

Print version ISSN 1807-5932On-line version ISSN 1980-5322

Abstract

SANTOS, Marcelo R. dos et al. Resting spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity and cardiac autonomic control in anabolic androgenic steroid users. Clinics [online]. 2018, vol.73, e226.  Epub May 21, 2018. ISSN 1807-5932.  http://dx.doi.org/10.6061/clinics/2018/e226.

OBJECTIVES:

Misuse of anabolic androgenic steroids in athletes is a strategy used to enhance strength and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. However, its abuse leads to an imbalance in muscle sympathetic nerve activity, increased vascular resistance, and increased blood pressure. However, the mechanisms underlying these alterations are still unknown. Therefore, we tested whether anabolic androgenic steroids could impair resting baroreflex sensitivity and cardiac sympathovagal control. In addition, we evaluate pulse wave velocity to ascertain the arterial stiffness of large vessels.

METHODS:

Fourteen male anabolic androgenic steroid users and 12 nonusers were studied. Heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate were recorded. Baroreflex sensitivity was estimated by the sequence method, and cardiac autonomic control by analysis of the R-R interval. Pulse wave velocity was measured using a noninvasive automatic device.

RESULTS:

Mean spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity, baroreflex sensitivity to activation of the baroreceptors, and baroreflex sensitivity to deactivation of the baroreceptors were significantly lower in users than in nonusers. In the spectral analysis of heart rate variability, high frequency activity was lower, while low frequency activity was higher in users than in nonusers. Moreover, the sympathovagal balance was higher in users. Users showed higher pulse wave velocity than nonusers showing arterial stiffness of large vessels. Single linear regression analysis showed significant correlations between mean blood pressure and baroreflex sensitivity and pulse wave velocity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results provide evidence for lower baroreflex sensitivity and sympathovagal imbalance in anabolic androgenic steroid users. Moreover, anabolic androgenic steroid users showed arterial stiffness. Together, these alterations might be the mechanisms triggering the increased blood pressure in this population.

Keywords : Autonomic Nervous System; Blood Pressure; Baroreflex Sensitivity; Pulse Wave Velocity.

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