Prostate cancer patients taking ADT have higher risk of gum disease

April 4, 2007

Patients with prostate cancer who are being treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) have three times the risk of periodontal disease as do patients who are not taking the therapy, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Urology (2007; 177:921-4).

Patients with prostate cancer who are being treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) have three times the risk of periodontal disease as do patients who are not taking the therapy, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Urology (2007; 177:921-4).

“People with periodontal disease are at greater risk for numerous negative health outcomes,” said lead author Pouran Famili, DMD, MPH, PhD. “If we can identify populations who are more likely to develop periodontal disease, as we have in this research, we may be able to target early interventions to groups like ADT recipients.”

The study enrolled 68 prostate cancer patients (average age, 68.5 years), 41 of whom received ADT for an average of 18 months, and 27 who did not. All underwent regular screenings for symptoms of periodontal disease relative to bone mineral density. Periodontal disease was discovered in 33 men (81%) who received ADT compared with one (4%) of the 27 who did not receive ADT. Further, the men receiving ADT had significantly greater probing depth and plaque scores (p<.001 and p<.09, respectively) than did men who did not receive hormone therapy.

No correlation was detected between bone mineral density and periodontal disease.

Urologists and oncologists are advised to refer patients for periodontal screening early in the course of their ADT, suggested Dr. Famili, who noted that such a referral is standard for other at-risk populations.