Bodybuilder's family says death should be warning to other steroid users
The family of a bodybuilder who developed heart disease from using anabolic steroids have warned others of the dangers.
Stuart Lakes (38), of Emerald Square, Dublin 8, was found dead in his bedroom on December 8, 2015, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Lakes' uncle, John Gavin, said his nephew's death serves as a health warning to other users.
"We want this inquest to highlight the dangers of the use of anabolic steroids for bodybuilders, we want them to be aware of what the effects to their health are," Mr Gavin said.
Mr Lakes' mother, Mary, said he had visited her home two days before he was found dead.
"He called in every Sunday to check in and say hello," she said. Asked if he liked to keep fit, she replied: "Yes, he lived in the gym."
Mr Lakes, who was due to start a new job the week of his death, was found dead by his friend, Chris Tormey, at the house they shared at Melrose Place in Bluebell. They last spoke on Sunday, December 6.
"He was in good form, he was starting a new job. Things were going well for him," Mr Tormey said.
Gda Enda Kenny told the hearing there was evidence of anabolic steroids in the form of testosterone liquid at the scene, along with syringes.
Asked by family members where Mr Lakes could buy steroids, Gda Kenny said they can be bought on the internet.
Mr Lakes was pronounced dead at the scene. A post mortem conducted by pathologist Dr Crona Gallagher concluded his sudden cardiac death was due to severe coronary artery stenosis on a background of anabolic steroid use.
Dr Gallagher found 80pc narrowing of the left coronary artery, with the other two main coronary arteries narrowed by 70pc and 30pc.
Although there were other drugs discovered in Mr Lakes' system, including mirtazapine and heroin, these were not present in levels high enough to cause death, Dr Gallagher reported.
Severe narrowing of the coronary arteries is one of the known health risks associated with taking steroids, coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said.
"The unregulated use of anabolic steroids carries potential risks, one of which has been identified here," said the coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane.
The family asked how long a person would need to take anabolic steroids before developing heart disease, but the coroner said that was a question for a pharmacological expert.
Dr Cullinane recorded a narrative verdict outlining the circumstances of death.