Impact of short stature on health-related quality of life in long-term survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in childhood and adolescence
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PURPOSE: Some survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in childhood and adolescence exhibit short stature, especially if their treatment included cranial irradiation. The impact of this outcome on health-related quality of life (HRQL) is uncertain and so formed the basis for the investigation reported here. METHODS: This study examined the association between self-reported HRQL and measured height in a cohort (n = 75) of survivors of ALL more than 10 years from diagnosis. HRQL was expressed as utility scores generated from a multi-attribute preference-based measure, the Health Utilities Index (HUI) which includes the complementary systems HUI2 and HUI3. For single attributes the range is from 1.00 (no limitations) to 0.00 (lowest level of function). For overall HRQL the range is 1.00 (perfect health) to 0.00 (equivalent to being dead). A negative score is associated with states of health worse than being dead. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in overall HRQL between subjects <25th (n = 16, 21%), 15th (n = 11, 15%) and 10th (n = 10, 13%) centiles. A greater amount of emotional morbidity, focused on anger and depression, was manifest in those <25th and 15th centiles, with clinically important differences of 0.07 (p = 0.03) and 0.077 (p = 0.016) respectively, but not in the shortest group who were < 10th centile. CONCLUSIONS: Studies in large cohorts of young adults in the general population has reported an inconsistent relationship between height and HRQL. Results from the current study suggest that no such relationship exists in long-term survivors of ALL in childhood and adolescence.