High-birth weight and other risk factors for Wilms tumour: results of a population-based case-control study

Eur J Pediatr. 2001 Jun;160(6):333-8. doi: 10.1007/pl00008443.


Wilms tumour, or nephroblastoma, is one of the childhood cancers included in two recent population-based case-control studies in West Germany. Altogether, 177 children under the age of 10 years with Wilms tumour diagnosed between 1988 and 1994 and 2006 control children sampled from population registration files participated. Information on potential risk factors was obtained from the parents using a questionnaire and by subsequent telephone interview. We found an association with a high birth weight >4000 g (odds ratio 1.58; 95% confidence interval 1.01-2.48), which was somewhat stronger for children aged 2 years or older. Findings for young maternal age at birth and certain parental occupationally related exposures were not reported by previous studies and thus may be chance findings. As opposed to previous studies, we failed to confirm associations with high parental age at birth, maternal coffee and tea consumption during pregnancy, and exposure to pesticides.

Conclusion: Based on this large population-based case-control study, high birth weight may play a role in the aetiology of Wilms tumour, but many risk factors previously suggested are of less importance.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Birth Weight*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coffee
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Wilms Tumor / epidemiology*


  • Coffee