Androgen deprivation therapy ‘increases heart failure risk’

Patients with prostate cancer treated with androgen deprivation therapy were 72% more likely to experience heart failure than those unexposed to the therapy, a study has shown.

Prostate cancer cells

Patients with prostate cancer who are treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) are more likely to develop heart failure than unexposed patients, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (7 November 2018)[1]

The research used health insurance data from Taiwan on 3,050 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2001 and 2012. The team compared the rates of heart failure in 1,244 patients who received ADT and 1,806 patients who did not, over a one-year period.

During follow-up they found that ADT users were 72% more likely to experience heart failure than non-users (4.00 vs 1.89 incidents per 100 person-years, respectively).

The researchers said that previous research into the association between ADT and heart failure has provided conflicting evidence and had never been explored in East Asian patients. However, they noted that, despite the findings, the benefits of ADT may still outweigh the risks.

“We recommend that clinicians should counsel their patients regarding modifiable heart failure risk factors, suggest they improve their lifestyle, and further provide relevant cardiovascular examination for prostate cancer patients receiving ADT,” the team concluded.


[1] Kao H-H, Kao L-T, Li I-H et al. Androgen deprivation therapy use increases the risk of heart failure in patients with prostate cancer: a population-based cohort study. J Clin Pharmacol 2018; in press. doi: 10.1002/jcph.1332

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, January 2019, Vol 11, No 1;11(1):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20205887

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