The Impact of Physical Activity on the Health of Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer: An Exploratory Analysis
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Physical activity (PA) habits of young adult survivors of childhood cancer (SCC) have not been well-characterized, and it is unclear whether PA has a relationship with the health status of young adult SCC. The objective of this study was to determine PA participation of young adult SCC and examine associations between PA participation and late adverse effects of treatment.
A retrospective chart review, including SCC enrolled in the McMaster AfterCare program, was performed. Patient characteristics, health outcomes, and PA information were abstracted. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine associations in this exploratory analysis.
We identified 253 young adult SCC, 240 of whom had sufficient information on PA participation to determine a Leisure Score Index (LSI). Of these, 45% reported adequate PA (LSI ≥24) and 26% reported no PA (LSI = 0). Significant associations between PA and bone mineral density (p = 0.03), blood pressure (p = 0.04), triglycerides (p = 0.05), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.01) were demonstrated.
The majority of young adult SCC in this cohort reported inadequate PA, despite ongoing healthy active living counseling. We identified associations between PA and bone mineral density as well as lipid profile in this group, which suggest that PA may mitigate risk of sequelae of cancer treatment. Strategies to improve young adult SCC engagement in PA are required.
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