University of Oulu

Egnell, C, Närhinen, H, Merker, A, et al. Changes in body mass index during treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia with the Nordic ALL2008 protocol. Eur J Haematol. 2022; 109( 6): 656- 663. doi:10.1111/ejh.13848

Changes in body mass index during treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia with the Nordic ALL2008 protocol

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Author: Egnell, Christina1; Närhinen, Hanna2; Merker, Andrea1;
Organizations: 1Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, and the Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
3Children's Hospital, Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
4Department of Haematology and Oncology, Tallinn Children's hospital, Tallinn, Estonia
5PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center Oulu and Department of Children and Adolescents, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark; and Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
7Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway
8Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
9Children's Hospital, Affiliate of Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos and Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania
10Department of Pediatric Oncology, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-24


Objectives: Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have a tendency to gain weight during treatment. As overweight and obesity associate with health problems, prophylactic interventions are warranted. Therefore, it is important to identify the children most prone to gain weight.

Methods: Patients aged 2.0–17.9 years at ALL diagnosis were identified from the NOPHO ALL2008 registry. Registry data was complemented with height and weight at the end of therapy from questionnaires. Body mass index (BMI) was classified according to international age- and sex-adjusted International Obesity Task Force BMI cut-offs. BMI values were transformed into standard deviation scores (SDS) to calculate the difference in BMISDS during treatment.

Results: Data on BMI change were available for 765 children. Overweight and obesity doubled during treatment: 9.7% were overweight and 2.1% obese at diagnosis and 21.8% and 5.4% at the end of therapy, respectively. The mean BMISDS change was +0.64. Younger (2.0–5.9 years) and healthy weight children were most prone to become overweight (mean change in BMI SDS +0.85 and + 0.65, respectively).

Conclusions: Younger children (2.0–5.9 years) with healthy weight at diagnosis were most prone to becoming overweight and therefore are an important group to target while considering interventions.

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Series: European journal of haematology
ISSN: 0902-4441
ISSN-E: 1600-0609
ISSN-L: 0902-4441
Volume: 109
Issue: 6
Pages: 656 - 663
DOI: 10.1111/ejh.13848
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: Danish Childhood Cancer Foundation, Grant/Award Number: 2019-5934; the Danish Cancer Society, Grant/Award Number: R-257-A14720; Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, Grant/Award Number: TJ2018-0093
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. European Journal of Haematology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.