(HealthDay News) — For childhood cancer survivors, following a heart-healthy lifestyle is associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS), according to a study published online July 28 in Cancer.

Webb A. Smith, from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, and colleagues characterized lifestyle habits and associations with MetS among childhood cancer survivors. Participants included 1,598 childhood cancer survivors who were ≥10 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 MetS and 27.0% followed WCRF/AICR guidelines. MetS 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 MetS among childhood cancer survivors,” the authors write. “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.

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