- Male childhood cancer survivors had greater adiposity, CV risk factors


Male childhood cancer survivors had greater adiposity and cardiovascular risk factors when compared with female cancer survivors and otherwise healthy siblings. Cranial irradiation and television watching hours may increase the risk for adiposity in this population, according to researchers.

Adiposity and CV disease are emerging long-term complications for childhood cancer survivors. For this reason, researchers assessed the independent association between BMI and adiposity in 170 childhood cancer survivors compared with 71 otherwise healthy sibling controls.

Demographic data, treatment type, lifestyle and endocrine factors were assessed at DXA testing.

Compared with male siblings, adiposity (20.7% vs. 25.8%; P=.007) and abdominal fat (21.3% vs. 26.7%; P=.008) were increased among male cancer survivors. However, total and abdominal fat did not differ between female cancer survivors and female siblings.

Researchers identified cranial irradiation and television watching hours as independent risk factors associated with increased BMI and total and abdominal fat. Male cancer survivors reported watching more hours of television per day (2.3 hours vs. 1.8 hours; P=.04) and had higher cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL levels compared with male siblings.

After adjusting for age, male cancer survivors had significantly lower free thyroxine (1.06 ng/dL vs. 1.32 ng/dL; P<.001), higher follicular-stimulating hormone (7.28 mIU/L vs. 4.92 mIU/L; P=.01), and lower insulin-like growth hormone I (197.9 ng/mL vs. 258.2 ng/mL; P=.04). Age-adjusted IGF-I levels for female cancer survivors were also significantly lower than sibling controls (213.2 ng/mL vs. 283.8 ng/mL; P=.004).

Further, BMI was positively associated with age and negatively associated with cyclophosphamide exposure in both male and female survivors. BMI was also independently and positively associated with IGF-I levels in males.