Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders in Survivors of Childhood Cancers and Health-Related Quality of Life and Physical Activity

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Nov 1;104(11):5183-5194. doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-00627.


Context: Childhood cancer survivors experience chronic health conditions that impact health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and participation in optimal physical activity.

Objective: The study aimed to determine independent effects of endocrine and metabolic disorders on HRQOL and physical activity.

Design, setting, and patients: Retrospective cohort with longitudinal follow-up of survivors of childhood cancer enrolled in the North American Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Main outcome measures: Medical Outcomes Short Form-36 estimated HRQOL, and participation in physical activity was dichotomized as meeting or not meeting recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Log binomial regression evaluated the association of each endocrine/metabolic disorder with HRQOL scales and physical activity.

Results: Of 7287 survivors, with a median age of 32 years (range, 18 to 54 years) at their last follow-up survey, 4884 (67%) reported one or more endocrine/metabolic disorders. Survivors with either disorder were significantly more likely to be male, older, have received radiation treatment, and have experienced other chronic health conditions. After controlling for covariates, survivors with any endocrine/metabolic disorder were more likely to report poor physical function risk ratio (RR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.48), increased bodily pain (RR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.44), poor general health (RR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.32 to 1.68), and lower vitality (RR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.34) compared with survivors without. The likelihood of meeting recommended physical activity was lower among survivors with growth disorders (RR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.97), osteoporosis (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.99), and overweight/obesity (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.88 to 0.96).

Conclusion: Endocrine and metabolic disorders are independently associated with poor HRQOL and suboptimal physical activity among childhood cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cancer Survivors / psychology*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / complications
  • Endocrine System Diseases / psychology*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / complications
  • Metabolic Diseases / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult