A common drug treatment for prostate cancer trebles the risk of fatal heart disease in patients who have a history of cardiac problems, a new study has found.
ADT (androgen deprivation therapy) is given to around a third of all prostate cancer patients to shrink tumours.
But it increases the risk of a fatal heart attack by 3.3 times in men who have a pre-existing heart problem, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or a previous heart attack, a study by Harvard medical school has concluded.
The researchers made the discovery after they tracked the progress of 5,077 men diagnosed with prostate cancer; of these, 1,521, or 30 per cent, were given ADT for an average of four months, and 91 of them died from cardiac problems.
Men who had no history of heart problems were not at any greater risk after ADT therapy, they said.
(Source: BJU International, 2014; doi: 10.1111/bju.12905)