Gedeborg R, Loeb S, Styrke J, Kiiski-Berggren R, Garmo H, Stattin P
Int J Cancer - (-) - [2022-07-08; online 2022-07-08]
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been hypothesized to protect against COVID-19, but previous observational studies of men with prostate cancer on ADT have been inconsistent regarding mortality risk from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using data from the Prostate Cancer data Base Sweden (PCBaSe), we identified a cohort of 114 547 men with prevalent prostate cancer on the start of follow-up in February 2020, and followed them until 16 December 2020 to evaluate the association between ADT and time to test positive for COVID-19. Among men testing positive for COVID-19, we used regression analyses to estimate the association between ADT and risk of COVID-19-related hospital admission/death from any cause within 30 days of the positive test. In total, 1695 men with prostate cancer tested positive for COVID-19. In crude analyses, exposure to ADT was associated with a 3-fold increased risk of both testing positive for COVID-19 infection and subsequent hospital admission/death. Adjustment for age, comorbidity and prostate cancer risk category substantially attenuated the associations: HR 1.3 (95% CI: 1.1-1.5) for testing positive for COVID-19, and OR 1.4 (95% CI: 1.0-1.9) for risk of subsequent hospital admission/death. In conclusion, although these results suggest increased risks of a positive COVID-19 test, and COVID-19-related hospital admission/death in men on ADT, these findings are likely explained by confounding by old age, cancer-associated morbidity and other comorbidities being more prevalent in men on ADT, rather than a direct effect of the therapy.