(HealthDay News) — For men with prostate cancer, the risk for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increased with androgen deprivation therapy, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Sean O’Farrell, from King’s College London, and colleagues used data on filled drug prescriptions in Swedish national health care registers to examine the risk for CVD associated with androgen deprivation therapy in men with prostate cancer

Data were collected in a cohort of 41,362 men with prostate cancer on androgen deprivation therapy and an age-matched prostate cancer-free comparison cohort of 187,875 men. Overall, 10,656 men were on antiandrogens ; 26,959 were on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists; and 3,747 underwent surgical orchiectomy from 2006 to 2012.

Compared with the comparison cohort, the researchers found that the risk for CVD was increased in men on GnRH agonists (HR for incident CVD=1.21) and in those who underwent orchiectomy (HR=1.16). The risk for incident CVD, however, was decreased for men on antiandrogens (HR=0.87). 

Men who experienced two or more CV events before therapy had the highest CVD risk during the first 6 months of androgen deprivation therapy vs. the comparison cohort, with HRs of 1.91 for GnRH agonist therapy; 1.60 for antiandrogens; and 1.79 for orchiectomy.

“There should be a solid indication for [androgen deprivation therapy] in men with [prostate cancer] so that benefit outweighs potential harm,” the researchers wrote.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Ferring.


  1. O’Farrell S et al. J Clin Oncol. 2015;doi:10.1200/JCO.2014.59.1792.