Prostate cancer treatment associated with higher risk of heart failure

Men with early-stage prostate cancer who receive androgen deprivation therapy are at significantly higher risk for heart failure, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

After following a cohort of 7,637 men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 1998 and 2008, researchers found androgen deprivation therapy was associated with an 81 percent increased risk of heart failure in men without pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Additionally, men with pre-existing CVD who received the hormone treatment were three times more likely to develop conduction disorder and 44 percent more likely to have arrhythmia.

“The findings allow men with localized prostate cancer to consider the positive and negative effects of androgen deprivation therapy and discuss it with their physicians,” lead author Reina Haque, PhD, a researcher with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation, said in a statement. “If they move forward with the therapy, patients should work with their physicians to adjust their lifestyle to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Researchers followed patients for up to 12 years after diagnosis. Nearly 30 percent of the study population received androgen deprivation therapy.

The analysis took into account various risk factors including pre-existing CVD, diabetes, hypertension, use of cardiovascular medications, smoking, body mass index and prostate-specific antigen levels.