Being underweight or overweight and obesity at diagnosis may all worsen prognosis in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), although no studies have estimated the prevalence of an unhealthy weight status at diagnosis in large representative samples using contemporary definitions of weight status based on body mass index (BMI) for age. The present study comprised a retrospective study that aimed to estimate prevalence of being underweight and overweight and obesity at diagnosis for patients with childhood ALL on three successive UK treatment trials: UKALL X (1985–1990; n = 1033), UKALL XI (1990–1997; n = 2031), UKALL 97/99 (1997–2002; n = 898).The BMI for age was used to define weight status with both UK 1990 BMI for age reference data and the Cole-International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) definitions. The prevalence of being underweight was 6% in the most recent trial for which data were available. The prevalence of being overweight and obesity was 35% in the most recent trial when expressed using Cole-IOTF definitions and 41% when expressed relative to UK 1990 reference data. Even with highly conservative estimates, >40% of all UK patients with ALL were underweight, overweight or obese at diagnosis in the most recent trial for which UK data are available (UKALL 97/99, 1997–2002).
- acute lymphoblastic leukaemia