Background: Hypertension as a late effect following childhood and adolescent cancer has received little attention. Since obesity, a known risk factor for hypertension, is increased following some childhood cancers, it seems likely that significant numbers of survivors would have hypertension.
Procedures: The records of patients seen in the Long Term Follow Up Clinic of Children's National Medical Center were examined for a single institution, retrospective study of blood pressure in survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer. Of 103 consecutive survivors who attended the clinic from January 1 through June 30, 2004, 51 (49.5%) were female and 52 (50.5%) were male. Their mean age was 14.6 years. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures for children and adolescents under 18 years of age were evaluated for hypertension and prehypertensive according to standards for age, sex, and height. Blood pressures for adults 18 years of age and older were evaluated according to standard adult values. Children and adolescents were evaluated for obesity and overweight according to body mass index (BMI) standards for age and sex. Adults were evaluated according to standard adult values.
Results: Twenty-nine patients (28.2%) were hypertensive or prehypertensive, and 74 (71.8%) were normal. Thirty-eight patients (36.9%) were obese or overweight, and 65 (63.1%) were non-obese. Most Wilms tumor patients, 7 of 10 (70.0%), had hypertension or prehypertension, but only 4 of 10 (40.0%) were obese or overweight.
Conclusion: Careful follow-up of their blood pressure status is warranted for long-term survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer, especially for those with an initial diagnosis of Wilms tumor.