Study finds possible link between ADT, diabetes

BOSTON — Men with prostate cancer are at a higher risk of developing diabetes or diabetes risk factors if they receive a therapy designed to block the production of testosterone, a new study has suggested.

According to research presented at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston, androgen deprivation therapy, which blocks the male hormone that can boost the growth of prostate cancer, may increase the chance of diabetes and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of metabolic risk factors that increase the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke — among men.

In the study, lead author Maria Luisa Cecilia Rivera-Arkoncel, a fellow at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Philippines, and colleagues compared 38 men with prostate cancer who received ADT and 36 men with less advanced prostate cancer who did not receive hormonal therapy, all of whom received treatment between 2004 and 2010.

What the researchers found was that the prevalence of diabetes was 42% in the ADT group and 19% in the non-ADT group. What's more, the group receiving ADT had a higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome than the non-ADT group did — 37% vs. 28%, respectively.

"An increased risk of diabetes with ADT has not previously been demonstrated in the Filipino population, which already has a high prevalence of diabetes," Rivera-Arkoncel said, who noted that the study suggested but cannot prove that ADT is the cause of diabetes among men that receive this treatment.

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