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21-03-2013 | Oncology | Article

Metabolic factors increase risk for RCC


Free abstract

medwireNews: Researchers have found that high levels of several metabolic factors increase the risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), giving further impetus for attempting to control such factors, which have already been associated with other adverse health outcomes.

They found that high body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and circulating levels of glucose and triglycerides increased the risk for RCC in men, and high BMI was a risk factor in women.

"Several of these factors may be part of the same biological pathway, but we found that blood pressure and triglycerides among men and BMI among women independently increased the risk of RCC," report Christel Häggström (Umeå University, Sweden) and colleagues.

As part of the Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer project (Me-Can), the researchers assessed possible metabolic risk factors in 560,388 men and women.

During a median follow-up of 10 years, 592 men and 263 women were diagnosed with RCC, at a median age of 62 years.

Among the men in the highest versus the lowest quintiles for BMI (mean 31.7 vs 21.5 kg/m2), the risk for RCC was increased 1.5-fold, while for systolic blood pressure (156.4 vs 112.2 mmHg), diastolic blood pressure (95.5 vs 66.9 mmHg), glucose (6.9 vs 4.2 mmol/L), and triglycerides (3.7 vs 0.8 mmol/L), the risk for RCC was increased a respective 3.4-fold, 3.3-fold, 3.8-fold, and 1.8-fold.

Among women, BMI was the only individual risk factor identified for RCC, with those in the highest quintile (mean 31.7 kg/m2) being 2.2 times more likely to develop RCC than those in the lowest quintile (mean 20.0 kg/m2).

For both men and women, an analysis of all the measured metabolic factors combined showed an increase in the risk for RCC, with those with the highest composite score 2.68 times and 2.29 times more likely to develop RCC, respectively, than those with the lowest composite score.

High composite metabolic scores were also associated with increased risk for death from RCC in men and women.

The team estimates in PLoS One that the absolute risks for RCC over a 20-year interval for a 40-year-old man in the lowest composite score quintile (mean -1.3) would be 0.18% and for a man in the highest quintile (mean 1.4) 0.34%.

For a 40-year-old woman, the absolute risks for RCC would be 0.10% for those in the lowest quintile (mean -1.3) and 0.18% for those in the highest quintile (mean 1.5).

Although these absolute increases in risks are "modest" compared with those associated with cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, "from a public health perspective our data add some further motivation to control metabolic factors," the team concludes.

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Lucy Piper, Senior medwireNews Reporter

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