Characteristics and determinants of adiposity in pediatric cancer survivors

Tracie L. Miller, Stuart R. Lipsitz, Gabriela Lopez-Mitnik, Andrea S. Hinkle, Louis S. Constine, M. Jacob Adams, Carol French, Cynthia Proukou, Amy Rovitelli, Steven E. Lipshultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Background: Adiposity and the diseases associated with it, including cardiovascular disease, are emerging long-term complications of pediatric cancer survivors. Direct evaluations of adiposity and comparisons to contemporary controls that can differentiate recent trends in obesity from cancer-related treatments and sequelae are limited. Methods: We evaluated demographic, treatment, lifestyle, and endocrine factors at the time of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry testing in 170 non-Hispanic white survivors and 71 sibling controls, and compared three measures of adiposity [body mass index (BMI), total body fat, and trunk fat]. For the survivors alone, we determined factors independently associated with BMI and body fat. Results: Survivors were at 12 years since diagnosis; 58% had leukemia or lymphoma. BMI did not differ between groups. Among males, body fat was greater in survivors than in controls (25.8% versus 20.7%; P = 0.007), as was trunk fat (26.7% versus 21.3%; P = 0.008). Total or trunk fat did not differ among females. Cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and television viewing hours were higher among male survivors than in controls. Independent factors associated with higher BMI and total and trunk fat included any cranial radiation and television viewing hours, whereas prior treatment with cyclophosphamide was associated with lower BMI and body fat measures. Conclusions: Compared with siblings, male survivors have greater body fat and metabolic risks. Cranial irradiation and television hours are important risk factors for adiposity in pediatric cancer survivors. Impact: Pediatric cancer survivors should be carefully monitored for cardiovascular risk factors and sedentary lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2013-2022
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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