Noncancer-related mortality risks in adult survivors of pediatric malignancies: the childhood cancer survivor study

J Cancer Surviv. 2014 Sep;8(3):460-71. doi: 10.1007/s11764-014-0353-7. Epub 2014 Apr 10.


Purpose: We sought to identify factors, other than cancer-related treatment and presence/severity of chronic health conditions, which may be associated with late mortality risk among adult survivors of pediatric malignancies.

Methods: Using the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort and a case-control design, 445 participants who died from causes other than cancer recurrence/progression or non-health-related events were compared with 7,162 surviving participants matched for primary diagnosis, age at baseline questionnaire, time from diagnosis to baseline questionnaire, and time at-risk. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for overall/cause-specific mortality. Independent measures included number/severity of chronic conditions, medical care, health-related behaviors, and health perceptions/concerns.

Results: Adjusting for education, income, chemotherapy/radiation exposures, and number/severity of chronic health conditions, an increased risk for all-cause mortality was associated with exercising fewer than 3 days/week (OR = 1.72, CI 1.27-2.34), being underweight (OR = 2.58, CI 1.55-4.28), increased medical care utilization (P < 0.001), and self-reported fair to poor health (P < 0.001). Physical activity was associated with a higher risk of death among males (OR = 3.26, CI 1.90-5.61) reporting no exercise compared to those who exercised ≥3 times per week. Ever consuming alcohol was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause (OR = 0.61, CI 0.41-0.89) and other nonexternal causes of death (OR = 0.40, CI 0.20-0.79). Concerns/worries about future health (OR = 1.54, CI 1.10-2.71) were associated with increased all-cause mortality.

Conclusions: Factors independent of cancer treatment and chronic health conditions modify the risk of death among adult survivors of pediatric cancer.

Implications for cancer survivors: Continued cohort observation may inform interventions to reduce mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Risk
  • Self-Examination
  • Survivors*