Risk of bladder cancer by disease severity in relation to metabolic factors and smoking: A prospective pooled cohort study of 800,000 men and women

Int J Cancer. 2018 Dec 15;143(12):3071-3082. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31597. Epub 2018 Oct 16.


Previous studies on metabolic factors and bladder cancer (BC) risk have shown inconsistent results and have commonly not investigated associations separately by sex, smoking, and tumor invasiveness. Among 811,633 participants in six European cohorts, we investigated sex-specific associations between body mass index (BMI), mid-blood pressure (BP, [systolic + diastolic]/2), plasma glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol and risk of BC overall, non-muscle invasive BC (NMIBC) and muscle invasive BC (MIBC). Among men, we additionally assessed additive interactions between metabolic factors and smoking on BC risk. During follow-up, 2,983 men and 754 women were diagnosed with BC. Among men, triglycerides and BP were positively associated with BC risk overall (hazard ratio [HR] per standard deviation [SD]: 1.17 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-1.27] and 1.09 [1.02-1.17], respectively), and among women, BMI was inversely associated with risk (HR: 0.90 [0.82-0.99]). The associations for BMI and BP differed between men and women (pinteraction ≤ 0.005). Among men, BMI, cholesterol and triglycerides were positively associated with risk for NMIBC (HRs: 1.09 [95% CI 1.01-1.18], 1.14 [1.02-1.25], and 1.30 [1.12-1.48] respectively), and BP was positively associated with MIBC (HR: 1.23 [1.02-1.49]). Among women, glucose was positively associated with MIBC (HR: 1.99 [1.04-3.81]). Apart from cholesterol, HRs for metabolic factors did not significantly differ between MIBC and NMIBC, and there were no interactions between smoking and metabolic factors on BC. Our study supports an involvement of metabolic aberrations in BC risk. Whilst some associations were significant only in certain sub-groups, there were generally no significant differences in associations by smoking or tumor invasiveness.

Keywords: bladder cancer; metabolic factors; muscle-invasive bladder cancer; non-muscle invasive bladder cancer; smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol