Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with cardiovascular disease in the general population and is also a potential cardiovascular risk factor in survivors of haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We report an EBMT cross-sectional, multi-centre, non-interventional study of 453 adult HCT patients surviving a minimum of 2 years post-transplant attending routine follow-up HCT and/or late effects clinics in 9 centres. The overall prevalence of MetS was 37.5% rising to 53% in patients >50 years of age at follow-up. There were no differences in rates of MetS between autologous and allogeneic HCT survivors, nor any association with graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) or current immunosuppressant therapy. Notably, there was a significantly higher occurrence of cardiovascular events (CVE, defined as cerebrovascular accident, coronary heart disease or peripheral vascular disease) in those with MetS than in those without MetS (26.7% versus 9%, p < 0.001, OR 3.69, 95% CI 2.09–6.54, p < 0.001), and, as expected, MetS and CVE were age-related. Unexpectedly, CVE were associated with occurrence of second malignancy. Screening for and management of MetS should be integrated within routine HCT long-term follow-up care for both allogeneic and autologous HCT survivors. Further research is warranted, including randomised controlled trials of interventional strategies and mechanistic studies of cardiovascular risk in HCT survivors.
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