GnRH Agonist Treatment For Prostrate Cancer Increases Diabetes Risk in Men

According to Boston-based researchers, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist treatment for prostate cancer might increase the chances of diabetes development in nondiabetic men. This observation suggests that hormone therapy increases risk for (type 2) diabetes, a condition defined by insulin resistance.

In the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dr. Smith and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital note that they prospectively followed 26 men with locally advanced or recurrent prostate cancer who underwent treatment with leuprolide depot and bicalutamide.

At 12 weeks, the proportion of fat body mass increased by 4.3%. Insulin sensitivity index fell 12.9% and insulin sensitivity calculated by homeostatic model assessment decreased by 12.8%. Fasting plasma insulin levels increased by 25.9% and there was a significant increase in mean glycosylated hemoglobin.

Dr. Smith also warns that, as because insulin resistance is also linked to cardiovascular disease, this observation suggests that GnRH agonists may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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