NEW YORK (Reuters Health) March 3 Men with prostate cancer who are undergoing androgen deprivation therapy have a more than three-fold increased risk of periodontal disease compared with those who are not on androgen deprivation therapy.
Men on hormonal deprivation therapy should be referred to a periodontist for follow-up during this phase of treatment, investigators at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, report in the March issue of The Journal of Urology.
Dr. Pouran Famili and colleagues studied 68 men with prostate cancer; 41 patients were on androgen deprivation therapy for a mean of 1.5 years and 27, who were not receiving this treatment, served as controls.
Periodontal disease was assessed in relation to bone mineral density in the two groups. The investigators controlled for risk factors for periodontal disease such as age, race, smoking and periodontal disease history.
The prevalence of periodontal disease was 80.5% in men on androgen deprivation therapy compared with 3.7% in men with prostate cancer who did not receive this type of therapy. Androgen deprivation therapy was associated with an odds ratio of 3.33.
Hormone deprivation was also associated with a significantly greater probing depth and higher plaque scores. However, there was no link found between bone mineral density and periodontal disease.
If the risk of periodontal disease among men on androgen deprivation therapy is confirmed in larger trials, Dr. Famili and colleagues suggest this relationship "could have important public health implications, given the increasing use of androgen therapy to treat prostate cancer."
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