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Hormonal Blockade in Prostate Cancer May Lead to Bone Loss

Body mass index, calcium/vitamin D and alcohol use may protect bone mineral density

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In men with prostate cancer undergoing their first year of androgen deprivation therapy, longer duration of the therapy is associated with decreased bone mineral density while higher body mass index, calcium/vitamin D supplementation and alcohol use are associated with a greater bone mineral density, according to a study published in the July issue of Urology.

In order to determine the impact of androgen deprivation therapy and lifestyle variables on bone mineral density, Christopher W. Ryan, M.D., of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 120 men with prostate cancer without bone metastases who were participating in a clinical trial of zoledronic acid. All subjects had been treated with androgen deprivation therapy for less than 12 months. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry was used to obtain bone mineral density measurements.

Two-thirds of the subjects had osteopenia or osteoporosis. Duration of androgen deprivation therapy was significantly associated with a decrease in bone mineral density in the femoral neck, total hip and lumbar spine. Body mass index, calcium/vitamin D supplementation and alcohol use were positively related to bone mineral density.

"The results of our study have shown that low bone mineral density is highly prevalent in patients with prostate cancer without bone metastases during the first year of androgen deprivation therapy," the authors conclude.

This study was funded by Novartis Oncology, East Hanover, N.J.

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