Body mass index (BMI) and quality of life among long-term survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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Background: Adult survivors of childhood cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at risk of overweight and related chronic morbidities. As childhood cancer survival has been improving, long-term quality of life (QOL) among cancer survivors becomes more important. We examined the association of body mass index with physical and psychosocial QOL among childhood ALL survivors who returned for long-term follow-up after end of therapy. Methods: Using a cross-sectional survey (2006-2012), we assessed the association between body mass index and quality of life in 58 long-term survivors of childhood ALL (ages 9 to 43 at the time of survey/measurement) using age-appropriate QOL instruments (Health-Related Quality of Life Short Form – SF-36 or Child Health Questionnaire-PF-50). Results: Half of the participants were overweight or obese at the time of survey. Mean QOL scores were similar to population norms. Compared to underweight/healthy weight status, being overweight/obese was not significantly associated with poorer physical QOL, but with poorer psychosocial QOL (47.1±13.2 vs. 54.0±6.0, P=0.01, effect size Cohen’s d=0.67), which remained statistically significant after adjusting for age and sex. Conclusions: Weight management should be the target of timely interventions among survivors of childhood ALL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number178
StatePublished - Mar 4 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) declared that no grants were involved in supporting this work.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2021 Vankina SP et al.


  • BMI
  • cancer survivorship
  • leukemia
  • obesity
  • quality of life


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