Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 149  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-33

Effect of socio-economic status & proximity of patient residence to hospital on survival in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia


Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Center, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Amita Trehan
Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Center, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_579_17

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Background & objectives: Survival in paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in lower/middle income countries continues to lag behind outcomes seen in high-income countries. Socio-economic factors and distance of their residence from the hospital may contribute to this disparity. This study was aimed at identifying the impact of these factors on outcome in childhood ALL. Methods: In this retrospective study, file review of children with ALL was performed. Patients were treated with the modified United Kingdom (UK) ALL-2003 protocol. Details of socio-economic/demographic factors were noted from a web-based patients' database. Modified Kuppuswamy scale was used to classify socio-economic status. Results: A total of 308 patients with a median age of five years (range: 1-13 yr) were studied. Patients belonging to upper, middle and lower SE strata numbered 85 (28%), 68 (22%) and 155 (50%). Nearly one-third of the patients were underweight. There was no treatment abandonment among children whose mothers were graduates. Neutropenic deaths during maintenance therapy were lower in mothers who had passed high school. In patients who survived induction therapy, the five year event-free survival (EFS) of upper SE stratum was significantly better 78.7±4.9 vs. 59±7.2 and 58.1±4.6 per cent in middle and lower strata (P =0.026). Five year overall survival was higher in the higher SE group; being 91.2±3.5, 78.3±5.6 and 78.8±3.9 per cent (P =0.055) in the three strata. Survival was unaffected by a distance of residence from treating centre or rural/urban residence. High-risk and undernourished children had a greater hazard of mortality [1.80 (P =0.015); 1.98 (P =0.027)]. Interpretation & conclusions: Our findings showed that higher socio-economic status contributed to superior EFS in children with ALL who achieved remission. Undernutrition increased the risk of mortality.


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