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Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the commonest form of cancer in this age group, suffer considerable morbidity during treatment, with the majority returning to good health soon after therapy has been completed, as reflected in health-related quality of life (HRQL). However, survivors are at risk of many adverse health outcomes later, including obesity, measured by body mass index (BMI), that is compounded by limited physical activity. This study examined the HRQL of long-term survivors of ALL and its relationship to BMI and physical activity.
A cohort of 75 subjects who were more than 10 years from diagnosis was assessed for BMI (weight in kg/height in m2) and completed two questionnaires. HRQL was measured by the multi-attribute, preference-based Health Utilities Index (HUI) instrument HUI23S4.15Q designed for self-report, and physical activity was quantified by the Habitual Activity Estimation Scale.
The mean utility scores for overall HRQL (HUI2 = 0.88, HUI3 = 0.83) were similar to those in the Canadian and US general population segments of equivalent age (HUI2 = 0.86, HUI3 = 0.85). However, the minimum scores (HUI2 = 0.23, HUI3 = −0.09) revealed a group of survivors with notable disabilities in the attributes of hearing, emotion, cognition, and pain. There were no statistically significant correlations between HRQL and BMI or between HRQL and physical activity, except for deafness and inactivity on weekdays.
Overall, long-term survivors of ALL in childhood enjoy good HRQL but some experience appreciable disability, though this is not associated with BMI or, in the main, with physical activity.
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- Health-related quality of life in long-term survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in childhood and adolescence
R. D. Barr
- Springer International Publishing
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