Prevalence of protein-energy malnutrition at diagnosis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Reilly, J. J., Weir, J., McColl, J. H. and Gibson, B. E.S. (1999) Prevalence of protein-energy malnutrition at diagnosis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 29(2), pp. 194-197. (PMID:10435658)

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Background: The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that protein-energy undernutrition is common in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at diagnosis. Previous studies have failed to establish whether undernutrition is a common feature at diagnosis. Methods: Body mass index (BMI, weight/height2), expressed as a standard deviation score (SDS) relative to contemporary United Kingdom reference data, was used as the index of nutritional status. The index was calculated in a national cohort of standard-risk patients (n = 1019) treated in the same protocol in the United Kingdom. Results: Prevalence of undernutrition (defined as BMI SDS <-2.0) exceeded expected frequencies in boys (7.6%) and girls (6.7%). These differences were statistically significant (p < 0.001), with a 95% confidence interval for the prevalence of undernutrition of 5.8% to 9.0%. Conclusions: Undernutrition is relatively common in patients with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, with a threefold excess of patients below the cutoff used to define undernutrition. Screening for undernutrition at diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia is indicated, and the BMI SDS is a simple index of nutritional status that could be readily calculated using measurements routinely made at diagnosis. The same simple screening technique could also be used clinically to detect and manage or prevent overnutrition (obesity), which is common in these patients after diagnosis.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McColl, Professor John
Authors: Reilly, J. J., Weir, J., McColl, J. H., and Gibson, B. E.S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Journal Name:Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Publisher:Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
ISSN (Online):1536-4801

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