A recently published local study examining the use of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid (AAS) amongst gym users in Kuwait found there to be significant use of AAS amongst Kuwaiti male gym-goers. The study, which was published in the International Journal of Men’s Health, was carried out by a research team at Fawzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute (FSRI) and funded by Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).
The study analyzed data collected and collated from 200 individuals of different gender, age, and nationality from across six gyms in Kuwait , amongst which 35% reported usage of AAS. The main findings listed age, smoking and nationality as the top predictors for AAS use; younger adults were significantly more likely to be AAS users, as are smokers and Kuwaiti males – both of whom are more than three time likely to be users of AAS than non-smokers and non-Kuwaitis, respectively.
Dr. Elham Al-Hamdan, President and Medical Director of FSRI, and one of the authors of the study commented: “The literature on AAS use in Kuwait is still fairly limited, and with our latest research we are hoping to build upon this and help shed light on the gravity and prevalence of this issue in Kuwait. One of the pillars of the Fawzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute is research and education, and in the past we have published a range of study’s focusing on health issues that impact the lives of people in our local community. AAS has become a prevalent issue amongst the large gym-going population in Kuwait, and hence has become a topic that needs to be studied and researched further.”
Due to the harmful effects that AAS use can have on the body, the study suggests that health policy and institutional reforms are needed in order to tackle the issue before it spreads. Although the complete elimination of AAS is not realistic, the study poses that reforms, public awareness and controlled distribution and administration of steroids are important steps to negate the harmful effects and draw attention to AAS use.
Dr. Al-Hamdan further added: “We will be publishing a follow-up paper that explores the psychological and emotional impact AAS use can have on individuals, further strengthening the framework we have set out to provide education and insight into AAS use in Kuwait.”