Lifestyle behaviours of young adult survivors of childhood cancer

Br J Cancer. 2002 Nov 18;87(11):1204-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600632.


This cross-sectional study collected baseline data on the health behaviours of a large population of survivors of childhood cancer in the UK, aged 18-30 years, compared with those of sex- and age-matched controls. Data from 178 young adult survivors of childhood cancer, diagnosed and treated at Bristol Children's Hospital, 184 peers from the survivors' GP practices and 67 siblings were collected by postal questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression analysis showed that, for matched sets of survivors and controls, survivors of a variety of childhood cancers reported lower levels of alcohol consumption (P=0.005), lower levels of cigarette smoking (P=0.027) and lower levels of recreational drug use (P=0.001) than controls. Analysis of matched sets of survivors and siblings showed similar trends but no significant differences. A health behaviour index for each participant was constructed from the data collected on five key health behaviours which influence future health status. Comparison of the means for each case group showed that survivors of childhood cancer were leading healthier lives than controls or siblings. This finding was expressed most clearly as the difference in the means of the health behaviour index for each case group, derived from five health behaviours (one-way ANOVA, P<0.001).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Siblings
  • Survivors / psychology*