Obesity and renal cell cancer--a quantitative review

Br J Cancer. 2001 Sep 28;85(7):984-90. doi: 10.1054/bjoc.2001.2040.


Obesity has been associated with an increased risk of renal cell cancer among women, while the evidence for men is considered weaker. We conducted a quantitative summary analysis to evaluate the existing evidence that obesity increases the risk of renal cell cancer both among men and women. We identified all studies examining body weight in relation to kidney cancer, available in MEDLINE from 1966 to 1998. The quantitative summary analysis was limited to studies assessing obesity as body mass index (BMI, kg m(-2)), or equivalent. The risk estimates and the confidence intervals were extracted from the individual studies, and a mixed effect weighted regression model was used. We identified 22 unique studies on each sex, and the quantitative analysis included 14 studies on men and women, respectively. The summary relative risk estimate was 1.07 (95% CI 1.05-1.09) per unit of increase in BMI (corresponding to 3 kg body weight increase for a subject of average height). We found no evidence of effect modification by sex. Our quantitative summary shows that increased BMI is equally strongly associated with an increased risk of renal cell cancer among men and women.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Sex Factors