likely to fracture. It is more common in older people and has been strongly linked to hormonal changes, such as the female menopause.
Links to ADT hormone therapy have also been reported, but the Barcelona study is thought to be the first to look at using daily calcium as a diagnostic tool to identify prostate cancer patients who face an increased risk of osteoporosis, including those who have not received ADT.
"Men account for about a third of all hip fractures, but they are much more likely to die after an injury of this nature than women, so it is important to identify possible risks at an early stage" adds Dr Planas.
Hormone treatment ranged from 12 to 98 months, with an average of just over 42 months. Men with bone disorders or secondary causes of osteoporosis were excluded from the study.
As well as the dietary questionnaire, the men taking part in the study had their bone mineral density measured at the lumbar spine and four different hip sites in line with the guidelines developed by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry for the diagnosis of osteoporosis.
"We carried out our research to discover whether there was a relationship between low daily calcium intake and reduced bone mineral density, which there clearly was" say Dr Planas.
"We also wanted to know if daily calcium intake could be used as a prognostic factor for osteoporosis, especially for patients receiving ADT. Our research suggests that it does provide a good pointer to whether a prostate cancer patient also has osteoporosis."
The authors suggest that patients with prostate cancer should be routinely advised to take at least 1000mg of calcium a day and that their bone mineral density should be assessed, particularly before starting ADT, and monitored at regular intervals after the treatment begins.
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