Social outcomes in adult survivors of childhood cancer compared to the general population: linkage of a cohort with population registers

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Objective:Self-reported data show differences in social outcomes (not being married/having a registered partnership; not living independently; using social benefits) for childhood cancer survivors compared with their peers. We aimed to determine differences in these social outcomes between survivors and the general population using national register data and explored associated risk factors.Methods:We performed medical record linkage between a single-centre cohort of 1768 ≥ 5-year survivors of childhood cancer (diagnosed 1966–2001) and two national registers (1999–2011) and obtained a random reference sample matched on gender and year of birth per survivor. We used multivariable logistic regression to calculate in adult survivors of childhood cancer (born before 1990) the odds of the specified social outcomes at the end of follow-up in both groups. Within the survivors, we analysed risk factors for the social outcomes.Results:We retrieved data from 1283 adult childhood cancer survivors and 25 082 reference persons. Survivors had higher odds (odds ratio; 95% confidence interval) of not being married (1.2; 1.07–1.42), not living independently (1.7; 1.41–2.00) and using social benefits (2.3; 1.98–2.69) compared with reference persons. Radiotherapy to head and/or neck, and an original central nervous system tumour diagnosis negatively influenced all social outcomes examined in childhood cancer survivors.Conclusions:National register data show differences between social outcomes in childhood cancer survivors and the general population, especially for survivors treated with radiotherapy to head and/or neck and those originally diagnosed with central nervous system tumours. Development and implementation of effective targeted support strategies to improve social outcomes of childhood cancer survivors needs consideration.

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