Survival rates of childhood cancer have increased over the last 30 years, revealing a population with unique characteristics and risks. The effects of radiation and cardiotoxic chemotherapy predispose these children to both early and late cardiovascular disease. Cranial radiation also increases the likelihood of growth hormone deficiency, which leads to metabolic disturbances. Childhood cancer survivors are less likely to be active than their healthy siblings, and have a lower aptitude for physical activity. These issues are additive to the usual risks experienced by the general population, thereby significantly increasing the likelihood of premature cardiovascular disease. Early and regular screening and risk factor management in this population is recommended.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded by the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases ( RO1CA113930-01A1 to J.S.), Children's Cancer Research Fund (to J.S.), the GCRC ( M01-RR00400 ), and General Clinical Research Center Program, National Center for Research Resources/National Institutes of Health.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Childhood cancer survivors
- Growth hormone
- Metabolic syndrome