Prostate therapy sparks cardio risk

Prostate therapy sparks cardio risk
By Staff writer
Sun 01 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

Hormone therapy used to treat advanced prostate cancer may save patients from cancer but raise the risk of diabetes and heart disease, claim US researchers.

The team said physicians should monitor such men closely to make sure they do not trade one cause of death for another.

“Men with prostate cancer have high five-year survival rates, but they also have higher rates of noncancer mortality than healthy men,” Dr Nancy Keating, an assistant professor of healthcare policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School, who led the study, said in a statement.

“This study shows that a common hormonal treatment for prostate cancer may put men at significant risk for other serious diseases. Patients and physicians need to be aware of the elevated risk as they make treatment decisions.”

Writing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Keating and colleagues said they examined the records of 73,000 men age 66 or older who had been diagnosed with local or regional prostate cancer.

“Our study found that men with local or regional prostate cancer receiving a GnRH agonist had a 44% higher risk of developing diabetes and a 16% higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than men who were not receiving hormone therapy,” Keating said.

Dr Matthew Smith of Massachusetts General Hospital recommended combining hormone therapy with lifestyle interventions to reduce risk.

“For men who do require this treatment, physicians may want to talk with their patients about strategies, such as exercise and weight loss, which may help to lower risk of diabetes and heart disease,” he said.

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