Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 28, Issue 11, pp 1440–1446 | Cite as

Patterns of Bone Mineral Density Testing in Men Receiving Androgen Deprivation for Prostate Cancer

Original Research



Practice guidelines recommend bone mineral density (BMD) monitoring for men on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer, but single center studies suggest this is underutilized.


We examined determinants of BMD testing in men receiving ADT in a large population-based cohort of men with prostate cancer.


Retrospective cohort study.


We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End-Results (SEER)-Medicare database to identify 84,036 men with prostate cancer initiating ADT from 1996 through 2008.


Rates of BMD testing within the period 12 months prior to 3 months after initiation of ADT were assessed and compared to matched controls without cancer and to men with prostate cancer not receiving ADT. A logistic regression model was performed predicting use of BMD testing, adjusted for patient demographics, indications for ADT use, year of diagnosis and specialty of the physician involved in the care of the patient.


Rates of BMD testing increased steadily over time in men receiving ADT, diverging from the control groups such that by 2008, 11.5 % of men were receiving BMD testing versus 4.4 % in men with prostate cancer not on ADT and 3.8 % in the non-cancer controls. In the logistic regression model, year of diagnosis, race/ethnicity, indications for ADT use and geographic region were significant predictors of BMD testing. Patients with only a urologist involved in their care were significantly less likely to receive BMD testing as compared to those with both a urologist and a primary care physician (PCP) (odds ratio 0.71, 95 % confidence interval 0.64–0.80).


There has been a sharp increase in rates of BMD testing among men receiving ADT for prostate cancer over time, beyond rates noted in contemporaneous controls. Absolute rates of BMD testing remain low, however, but are higher in men who have a PCP involved in their care.


prostate cancer osteoporosis androgen deprivation therapy bone mineral density 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  3. 3.Sealy Center on AgingUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Preventive Medicine and Community HealthUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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