Androgen Deprivation Tx for Prostate CA Tied to Depression

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Androgen Deprivation Tx for Prostate CA Tied to Depression
Androgen Deprivation Tx for Prostate CA Tied to Depression

TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Older men who receive androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer may be at increased risk of developing depression, according to a new, large study published online April 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The findings are based on Medicare records for 78,552 U.S. men treated for prostate cancer between 1992 and 2006. Overall, 43 percent received ADT. The team reported accounting for other factors that could affect depression risk -- including the severity of a man's cancer, his age, and education.

The researchers found that among those given ADT, 7.1 percent developed clinical depression in the next few years. That compared with 5.2 percent of men who did not have the treatment. The longer the men were on ADT, the higher the risk of depression, the investigators added. Of men who were treated for six months or less, 6.1 percent developed depression within three years of their cancer diagnosis. That rose to 8.0 percent among men who were on ADT for at least a year. Once other factors were taken into account, ADT was tied to a 23 percent increase in the risk of depression.

The findings do not prove that ADT is to blame. But they do offer "pretty strong evidence" that might be the case, senior researcher Paul Nguyen, M.D., director of prostate brachytherapy at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told HealthDay. "Our study suggests that psychiatric side effects should be one of the considerations."

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