Obesity and metabolic syndrome in adolescent survivors of standard risk childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Saudi Arabia

Fahad Aldhafiri, Abdallah Al-Nasser, Abdulaziz Al-Sugair, Hanan Al-Mutairi, David Young, John J Reilly

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30 Citations (Scopus)
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This study estimated prevalence of unhealthy
weight status and metabolic syndrome (MS) amongst Saudi survivors of standard risk ALL. Procedure. We recruited 56 survivors,
mean age 13.4 years (SD 4.1), a mean of 9.1 years (SD 4.1) postdiagnosis. The BMI for age was used to define weight status relative
to national (Saudi) and international (Cole et al., Cole-IOTF, WHO,
and CDC) reference data. We measured body composition by dualenergy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), waist circumference, blood
pressure, lipid profile (HDL-C, Triglycerides), fasting glucose and
insulin. Results. According to international definitions based on
BMI for age, around half of the sample had unhealthy weight status.
All of the approaches based on BMI for age underestimated overfatness, present in 27/51 (53%) of the sample according to DXA.
Prevalence of MS was 7.1% (3/42 of those over 9-years old) and
5.4% (3/56) by applying the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
definition and National Cholesterol Education Program Third Adult
Treatment panel Guidelines (NCEP III), respectively. However, MS
by the NCEP III definition was present in 19% of the overweight and
obese survivors and 7.1% of the sample had at least two of the
components of MS. Conclusion. Unhealthy body weight and overfatness may be common amongst adolescent Saudi survivors of
standard risk ALL, though overweight and obesity may be no
more common than in the general Saudi adolescent population.
Defining weight status using BMI underestimates overfatness.
Ideally, body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors should
be monitored at late effects clinics. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012;59:
133–137. 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number1
Early online date11 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2012


  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • obesity
  • metabolic syndrome
  • adolescent survivors
  • saudi arabia
  • standard risk
  • late effects


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