Changes in nutritional status in adolescents surviving leukemia and lymphoma

ABSTRACT Objective To examine the changes in the nutritional status of adolescents aged 10-19 years after a minimum 12 months interval following oncological treatment for leukemias and lymphomas. Methods Longitudinal design quantitative study conducted at Hospital de Clínicas, Porto Alegre. Adolescents aged 10-19 years after a minimum 12 months interval following oncological treatment for leukemias and lymphomas were included. The measures of weight, height, brachial circumference, triceps skinfold thickness, arm muscle circumference and abdominal circumference were collected. Results The sample comprised 50 adolescents who had survived leukemias and lymphomas. In the follow up 38% of the patients were classified as overweight according to the body mass index for their age. There was a significant increase in body mass index for age between the beginning and the end of treatment and follow up (p=0.013) in female individuals, compared to males. The results indicate a reduction in the Z-score means of height for age, with significant differences between the beginning of treatment and follow up (p=0.016); and end of treatment and follow up (p=0.006) in patients of both genders Conclusion The anthropometric indicators show an important frequency of excess weight and increased tricipital skinfold, as well as a significant increase of the body mass index for age and also a growth deficit among the survivors.