In a population-based case-control study of kidney cancer in New South Wales, Australia, data from structured interviews with 489 cases of renal cell cancer (RCC) and 147 cases of renal pelvic cancer (CaRP) diagnosed in 1989 and 1990, and 523 controls from the electoral rolls, confirmed the link between obesity and RCC. In addition, regular consumption of 'diet' pills independently increased the risk for this cancer. A diagnosis of hypertension at least two years before interview raised the risk for RCC, and regular use of beta-blockers, a class of antihypertensive drug, independently increased the risk for RCC and CaRP (risk ratio = 1.5-1.8). No independent effect was found for use of diuretics. Additional information provided by this study includes increased risks associated with kidney injury (RCC, CaRP)--possibly attributed to recall bias--and kidney infection (CaRP), as well as a nonsignificantly raised risk linked with kidney stones (RCC, CaRP) and a significantly reduced risk for RCC in persons giving a history of lower urinary tract infection. No significant association of RCC was found with hormonal factors (age at menarche or menopause; child-bearing; regular use of oral contraceptives or estrogens; hysterectomy or oophorectomy).