Older Patients With Prostate Cancer at a Higher Risk for Heart Complications After Androgen-Deprivation Therapy

While a higher risk of heart issues was found in older men years after androgen-deprivation therapy, it is unknown if the risk comes from the treatment or other age-related comorbidities.

Risk of major averse cardiovascular events, which was defined as myocardial infractions (commonly known as heart attack), stroke or death from any cause, were more common in older patients with prostate cancer after androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) initiation, according to data presented at the 47th Annual Oncology Nursing Congress.

ADT is often used to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer, and previous literature has demonstrated an association between the treatment and cardiovascular risk; however, there is still debate on whether ADT causes that risk or if it is other comorbidities, said Deborah Boldt-Houle, an author on the study and senior director of medical affairs at TOLMAR Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures the ADT therapy Eligard (leuprolide acetate), during the presentation.

This study, which included the medical records of 44,339 patients, evaluated the relationship between risk of major cardiovascular events and age in patients with prostate cancer on ADT. Patients included in the study were divided into age group: younger than 60 (6%); 60 to 70 years old (24%); 70 to 80 years old (39%); or 80 years or older (31%).

In the overall population, major averse cardiovascular events risk was between 2% and 6% one year after ADT initiation, and 12% and 31% four years after.

Additionally, risk of major adverse cardiovascular events was more common in older patients compared to younger patients in the first seven years after ADT.

Read more: Exercise Before Androgen-Deprivation Therapy Starts Can Improve Quality of Life in Patients with Prostate Cancer

Boldt-Houle added that these results are significant and a possible explanation for this is because older patients tend to have more comorbidities that could cause cardiovascular issues, such as diabetes, obesity and frailty, she explained.

The results highlight that a patient’s care team should be cognizant of their age and risk for major averse cardiovascular events prior to starting treatment with ADT. Future studies are needed to evaluate the role comorbidities play in cardiovascular problems during ADT.

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