July 18, 2024
Steroid Use

Steroid Use and Increased Concussion Risk in High School Athletes

A recent study published in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine reveals a concerning link between steroid use and an increased risk of sustaining a concussion in high school athletes. The research, conducted by Kennedy Sherman and colleagues from the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine at Cherokee Nation, analyzed data from a Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) survey to examine the incidence of steroid use and concussion among US high school athletes.

The findings of the study indicate that over half of the high school athletes who reported using anabolic steroids had also suffered from a concussion. In contrast, only around a fifth of those who did not use steroids reported a concussion. The rate of concussions among steroid users was significantly higher at 54.6% compared to 19.6% among non-users.

Anabolic steroid use among high school athletes is a well-documented issue, with many individuals turning to these substances to enhance muscle strength and increase lean muscle mass, eventually leading to a higher body mass index (BMI). However, this study highlights the potentially detrimental effects of steroid use, including an increased risk of sustaining concussions.

The use of anabolic steroids can result in severe and sometimes irreversible damage to the body. Known risks include early heart attacks, strokes, liver tumors, kidney failure, male infertility, and psychiatric problems. In addition, steroid use is associated with behavioral changes such as increased aggression, anxiety, and decreased impulse control.

The study also revealed a declining trend in steroid use among high school athletes over the years. The prevalence of steroid use decreased from 3.4% in 1999 to 1.9% in 2019. The highest rates of use were observed in 2001 and 2003, at 5.3% and 4.4% respectively. It is worth noting that the rates of steroid use varied significantly among different ethnic groups, with the American Indian/Alaska Native group reporting the highest rate at 7.2%.

Given the concerning findings of this study, the researchers emphasize the importance of coaches being aware of potential steroid use among their players. They also urge coaches, trainers, and physicians to follow concussion protocols and promptly evaluate and remove players from games if a concussion is suspected.

This study sheds light on the impact of steroid use on the risk of concussions among high school athletes. It underscores the need for increased awareness and prevention efforts to address the use of anabolic steroids, as well as the implementation of proper concussion protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of young athletes.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it