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Survivors of Childhood Cancer can Escape Risk of Metabolic Syndrome by Leading Healthy Lifestyle: Study

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Survivors of Childhood Cancer can Escape Risk of Metabolic Syndrome by Leading Healthy Lifestyle
(Photo : Flickr) Survivors of Childhood Cancer can Escape Risk of Metabolic Syndrome by Leading Healthy Lifestyle

Unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits elevate risk of metabolic syndrome in people who had cancer in their childhood, according to a study.

Researchers at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital found almost 73 percent of adults who once endured deadly forms of cancer at an earlier age were more than twice likely to develop metabolic syndromes if they did not practice healthy habits. Their study looked at risk factors of metabolic syndrome like high blood pressure, flabby waist, high triglyceride levels and other conditions in 1,598 childhood cancer survivors aged between 19 and 90. Cancer treatment procedures like chest and cranial irradiation or chemotherapy with anthracylcine hiked up the probability for cardiomyopathy or metabolic syndrome.

They found 32 percent of subjects developed the condition and had increased susceptibility to dying from heart diseases, diabetes and stroke ten years after their cancer diagnosis.

The risk rate of metabolic syndrome was 2.2 and 2.4 times high for men and women who never exercised or ate a healthy balanced diet. Almost 22 percent of cancer survivors aged over 40 had 31.5 percent increased vulnerability for metabolic syndrome. Only 27 percent of participants reportedly maintained normal body weight, consumed less alcohol, sodium and red meat, exercised regularly and ate lots of fruits and vegetables.

In addition, the findings revealed 75 percent of volunteers were overweight, three-fourths rarely exercised or consumed less than five portions of healthy diet.

According to the study reports, U.S. has more than 360,000 childhood cancer survivors. Recent developments and changes in treatment and diagnosis have increased the survival rate of children affected with the disease.

"This is good news for the nation's growing population of adult survivors of childhood cancer," said Kirsten Ness, co- author and an associate member of the St. Jude Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control in a news release.

 "This suggests that if you maintain a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating a diet that is low in fat, sugar and salt and rich in fruit and vegetables you should be able to influence whether or not you develop metabolic syndrome," adds Ness.

More information is available online in the journal Cancer.

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Jul 29, 2014 08:04 AM EDT

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