Researchers from University of Edinburgh and University College London (UCL) utilized the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink and Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database to investigate men who were prescribed 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (prostate drugs). The researchers used a Cox proportional hazard model over an eleven year period to determine diabetes risk. The population-based cohort study investigated the drugs dutasteride, finasteride, and tamsulosin. These drugs are prescribed for men who have an enlarged prostate gland.
Out of 55,275 patients studied, the researchers discovered 2,081 new onset type-2 diabetes events, indicated by prescription of oral diabetes drugs. During a mean follow-up of 5.2 years, there were 368 new cases of diabetes for patients prescribed dutasteride, 1,207 new cases for patients prescribed finasteride, and 506 new cases for those taking tamsulosin. After adjusting for body mass index, the risk was consistent across both population cohorts.
Lead author Dr Li Wei, Associate Professor from UCL School of Pharmacy said: "By studying real world data from different ethnic populations across the U.K. and Taiwan, we found that men being treated with dutasteride or finasteride for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) have a roughly 30 percent increased risk of developing diabetes.
If patients ultimately experience metabolic issues with their pancreas gland and are at greater risk of developing Type-2 diabetes, then one may reasonably suggest that the prostate drugs are not addressing the underlying pathology behind the inflammation of the prostate gland in the endocrine system. The drug does not properly address the dys-regulation of the endocrine system and underlying hormonal imbalance; thus other problems with the endocrine system arise. If the researchers went further, they may find that men ultimately have issues with other glands in their endocrine system. This is the problem with modern medicine: It does not typically address the underlying pathology of systemic inflammation in the body, the hormone disruptors humans are exposed to, or the nutrient deficiencies that are at the root of many health problems.
Senior author Professor Ruth Andrew, of the University/British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh said: "These findings will be particularly important for health screening in older men who are already typically at a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. We will now continue our studies to better understand the long-term outcomes so we can better identify patients at greater risk.”
The researchers iterate that all patients should be made aware of not only the potential benefits of medication, but they should also be warned about the risks. The risks of ignoring the underlying pathology of inflammation in the body equate to further health problems down the road. The risk of prostate drugs includes direct impairment of insulin sensitivity and increased steatosis, which is the abnormal retention of lipids within a cell or organ. Before any prescription drug regime is relied upon, it is important to eliminate endocrine disrupting chemicals from your dietary and contact exposure and address underlying nutrient deficiencies.