Dietary intake and childhood leukemia: The Diet and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment (DALLT) cohort study
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OBJECTIVE: Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at elevated risk for nutrition-related morbidity both during and after therapy. We present the demographic characteristics and nutrient intake at study entry of a prospective cohort in which evaluating dietary intake in children diagnosed with ALL was investigated. METHODS: Dietary intake data were collected for participants enrolled on the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium Protocol. Dietary intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire and was compared with the dietary reference intake by ALL risk group (standard and high risk). RESULTS: Dietary intake data were collected from 81% of participants (n = 640). We found that 27% of participants were overweight/obese. Intake of total calories and other nutrients exceeded the dietary reference intake in up to 79% of children. This was evident in both risk groups and was pronounced among younger children. For micronutrients, dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D (females only), and zinc differed significantly between patients with standard-risk and those with high-risk ALL. CONCLUSIONS: This study was successful in collecting dietary intake data at the time of cancer diagnosis in a multicenter setting in a pediatric population at high-risk for nutrition-related morbidity. We identified "at-risk" dietary intakes, which vary by sex and ALL risk group; such patients may benefit from future dietary interventions.
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