Does Hormone Therapy Increase Risk of Heart Attack?

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Men with prostate cancer who are considering hormone therapy or who are already on hormone therapy may be encouraged by the results of a new study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The meta-analysis found that hormone therapy did not increase the risk of cardiovascular deaths, plus it showed a lower risk of prostate cancer–specific death and death from all causes among men on hormone therapy.

These results are contrary to some previous research which indicated that men with prostate cancer who chose hormone therapy had a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular causes.

Since hormone therapy is one of the main treatments for prostate cancer, these results “should be generally reassuring to most men with unfavorable-risk prostate cancer considering ADT [androgen-deprivation therapy, another name for hormone therapy for prostate cancer], because it was associated with improved survival without a measurable excess in cardiovascular mortality,” according to the study’s authors.

The meta-analysis included data from eight randomized trials from 1966 to 2011 and involved 4,141 individuals, and a group of 4,805 patients from 11 trials that provided overall death data.


Nguyen PL et al. Association of androgen deprivation therapy with cardiovascular death in patients with prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Journal of the American Medical Association 2011; 306(21):2359-66