No Evidence for an Effect of Nutritional Status at Diagnosis on Prognosis in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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Purpose: To test the hypothesis that nutritional status at diagnosis, defined as body mass index standard deviation score (SDS). is related to the prognosis in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Patients and Methods: The sample consisted of 1.025 patients with standard risk ALL who had been randomized to different intensification therapies. Outcome measures were relapse/no relapse and time to first relapse. The influence of body mass index SDS was tested by survival analysis.

Results: There was no evidence that body mass index SDS was related to clinical outcome (proportional hazards model, p = 0.72).

Conclusions: The study results suggest that nutritional status at diagnosis, defined on the basis of the body mass index, at least in developed countries, has no effect on the prognosis in ALL, and it should not be considered as a prognostic factor.

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