Use of asthma medications and prostate cancer risk

Thursday, 5 August 2010- Men with a history of asthma who use asthma medications β€” particularly systemic glucocorticoids β€” are at an increased risk for prostate cancer, according to new findings from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study in Australia.

Researchers assessed whether a history of asthma or the use of asthma medications are associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer in 1,179 men who were followed for an average of 13.4 years.

Asthma history was obtained at baseline. Participants were asked to bring their current medications to the study centre; the names of medications were entered into a form and coded. Asthma medications were then divided into four groups and HRs were estimated with Cox regression models adjusted for birth country.

Researchers observed a slight increase in prostate cancer risk in men with asthma (HR=1.25; 95% CI, 1.05-1.49).

Moreover, the HR for use of systemic glucocorticoids was 1.71 (95% CI, 1.08-2.69); 1.39 for inhaled glucocorticoids (95% CI, 1.03-1.88); 1.36 for bronchodilators (95% CI, 1.05-1.76); and 0.78 for antihistamines (95% CI, 0.45-1.35).

The researchers noted that although a history of asthma as well as use of asthma medications was associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer, β€œit is difficult to disentangle the effects of asthma medications from those of asthma, per se.

These findings, if confirmed in independent studies, might lead to the identification of new risk factors for prostate cancer.”

Source: G. Severi, et al., Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010;doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0381


Edited by: JV

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