Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Lowers Metabolic Syndrome Risk in Cancer Survivors

(HealthDay News) — For childhood cancer survivors, following a heart-healthy lifestyle is associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, according to a study published online in Cancer.

Webb A. Smith, MS, from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and colleagues characterized lifestyle habits and associations with metabolic syndrome among childhood cancer survivors. 

Participants included 1,598 childhood cancer survivors who were 10 or more years from diagnosis and completed medical and laboratory tests and a food frequency questionnaire. 

Lifestyle habits were characterized according to World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) recommendations, with those who met four or more of seven recommendations classified as having followed guidelines.

The researchers found that 31.8% of participants met the criteria for metabolic syndrome and 27.0% followed WCRF/AICR guidelines. Metabolic syndrome was 2.4 times more likely for females and 2.2 times more likely for males who did not follow guidelines, compared with those who followed guidelines.

“Adherence to a heart-healthy lifestyle is associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome among childhood cancer survivors,” the researchers wrote. “There is a need to determine whether lifestyle interventions prevent or remediate MetS in childhood cancer survivors.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Novo Nordisk.


  1. Smith WA et al. Cancer. 2014;doi:10.1002/cncr.28670.