Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT) survivors are burdened by a high prevalence and early onset of chronic disease. Healthy dietary patterns have been associated with lower risks of chronic health conditions in the general population. HCT survivors are susceptible to multiple complications and may result in chronic illness. Unfortunately, no study to date has comprehensively documented the adherence of HCT survivors to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), specifically designed to provide guidance for making healthy food choices. The aims of this study were to evaluate diet quality and nutrient intake adequacy of HCT survivors. A secondary aim was to assess their willingness to take part in a future dietary intervention.
Dietary intake of adults, who had undergone autologous or allogeneic HCT for a hematologic disease and were at least 1-y post-transplantation, was assessed using the Block 2014 food frequency questionnaire and diet quality was estimated using the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015). Nutrient intake adequacies of the group were estimated by the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) cut-point method.
Survivors’ (n=90) HEI-2015 scores averaged 61.6±1.1. Adherence to a good quality diet was reported by only 10% of survivors. Intakes of vitamins A, C and D, as well as magnesium and calcium, suggested inadequacy. Fiber intake at 8.9 g per 1000 kcal/d fell below the Adequate Intake recommendation. “Change in taste” was associated with lower quality of diet (p=0.02). HCT survivors within 2 y post-transplant were more receptive to participation in a dietary intervention compared to survivors beyond 2 y (95% vs. 65%, p=0.0013).
Adult HCT survivors reported less than optimal adherence to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and had numerous short-fall nutrient intakes. However, their willingness to participate in a dietary intervention was relatively high. These findings reinforce the need to incorporate nutrition into HCT survivor care.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.