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Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: a Scoping Review of Extant Empirical Literature

Hearne, Evelyn and Wazaify, Mayyada and Van Hout, Marie Claire and Atkinson, Amanda and McVeigh, Jim (2020) Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: a Scoping Review of Extant Empirical Literature. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. ISSN 1557-1874

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Abstract

The use of image- and performance-enhancing drugs particularly anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) is not a new phenomenon. AAS use is not limited to athletes, with mainstream populations using these drugs for aesthetic purposes. Prevalence has been predominantly in Western countries, with some recent studies indicating a rise in popularity in the Eastern Mediterranean region. A scoping review of extant empirical literature from the Eastern Mediterranean region described and mapped what is known about the extent of AAS in the region. Four themes emerged from the review: (1) profile of AAS users; (2) AAS within gymnasium practice; (3) AAS regimes of use; and (4) knowledge and understanding of the AAS concept and related adverse effects. The review highlights a relatively new phenomenon of AAS use in the Eastern Mediterranean. The review underscores the need to carry out further research, particularly qualitative and quantitative studies with both genders, and cognisant of the complexities of culture and religiosity.

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