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Unhealthy habits more than double risk of metabolic syndrome in childhood cancer survivors
Date:7/28/2014

from St. Jude and others found that many survivors face significant challenges, including chronic health problems, and may be at risk for premature aging. Survivors whose cancer treatment included chest and cranial irradiation or chemotherapy with anthracylcine are known to be at an increased risk for cardiomyopathy or metabolic syndrome. A previous St. Jude-led study found that lifestyle and risk factors related to cancer treatment were a particularly toxic mix for aging childhood cancer survivors.

This study was the largest yet to evaluate how lifestyle impacts the risk of metabolic syndrome in a diverse group of pediatric cancer survivors. The participants were enrolled in the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study (St. Jude LIFE), which brings childhood cancer survivors treated at St. Jude back to the hospital for several days of health screenings and other tests. Participants are at least 18 years old and 10 years from their diagnosis. Survivors in this study ranged in age from 19 to 60 years old. Half were less than 33 years old. Previous studies of metabolic syndrome in pediatric cancer survivors focused primarily on survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but this study included survivors of various cancers, including lymphoma, sarcoma, neuroblastoma, brain and other tumors.

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome among survivors, 22 percent of whom were older than age 40, was 31.5 percent. That was greater than rates reported in small studies of young pediatric cancer survivors, but comparable to the 34 percent reported in the general population, 68 percent of whom were older than 40.

Health screenings and survivor self-reports found that 27 percent of study participants met at least four of seven requirements for a healthy lifestyle as defined by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. The list included maintaining a healthy weight, moderate intake of alcohol and red meat, being physically active and
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Contact: Summer Freeman
summer.freeman@stjude.org
901-595-3061
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert  

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