Accumulating evidence shows that androgen deprivation therapy is associated with osteoporosis and fragility fractures of the spine, hip and wrist. One study suggested that androgen deprivation therapy may also be associated with nonfragility fractures in older men. Whether other clinical risk factors independently increase the risk of fractures is not certain.
Using linked administrative databases in Ontario, Canada, the authors matched 19,079 men 66 years old or older with prostate cancer with at least six months of continuous androgen deprivation therapy or bilateral orchiectomy with men with prostate cancer who had never received androgen deprivation. Matching variables were age, prior cancer treatment, diagnosis year, comorbidity, medication, prior fractures and socioeconomic variables. Primary outcomes were a typical fragility fracture of the spine, hip or wrist and any fracture. Independent predictors of fracture outcomes were assessed with Cox proportional hazards models.
At a mean 6.47-year followup androgen deprivation therapy was associated with an increased risk of fragility fracture (HR 1.65, 95% CI 1.53-1.78) and any fracture (HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.39-1.54). Independent predictors of fragility and any fracture were increasing age, prior bone thinning medications, chronic kidney disease, prior dementia, prior fragility fracture and prior osteoporosis diagnosis or treatment (p <0.05).
Continuous androgen deprivation therapy for at least six months is associated with an increased risk of fracture. Increasing age, prior osteoporotic fracture and dementia are important clinical factors that may warrant greater consideration of anti-osteoporotic therapy in these men.