BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE
Previous studies of survivors of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have drawn heterogeneous conclusions regarding the prevalence of obesity and risk factors for developing obesity in pediatric ALL survivors. We sought to determine the prevalence of obesity in pediatric ALL survivors and examine risk factors for obesity through a systematic review and meta-analysis.
A MEDLINE search was performed from its inception through 2013. Studies met the inclusion criteria if they (1) included at least 10 survivors of pediatric ALL; (2) assessed the prevalence or indicators of obesity; and (3) compared obesity among ALL survivors to a reference population or external control group. Extracted data included patient and treatment characteristics, study design, population used for comparison, and prevalence of obesity.
Forty-seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Despite significant heterogeneity among the studies (I(2) = 96%), the mean BMI z score in 1742 pediatric ALL survivors was 0.83 (95% confidence interval: 0.60-1.06), which corresponds to the 80th BMI percentile, indicating a significantly higher BMI in pediatric ALL survivors than the reference population. Subgroup analyses found a high prevalence of obesity in ALL survivors regardless of survivors' receipt of cranial irradiation, gender, or age at diagnosis.
Obesity is prevalent in pediatric ALL survivors and is independent of patient- and treatment-related characteristics. Clinicians need to screen for obesity and its associated health conditions early in survivorship.
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