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Hypertension and obesity are associated with kidney cancer

Hypertension and obesity are serious conditions which are associated with sedentary lifestyles and poor diets. The seriousness of these conditions becomes even more compelling with a recognition that they are linked to kidney cancer. MedPage Today reported on March 24, 2014 that increases in blood pressure and body mass index have been found to be associated with greater risks of kidney cancer in U.S. men and women.

Human kidneys
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The researchers reported online in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association that both blood pressure and body mass index remained significant predictors of kidney cancer after adjustment for various potential confounders. They noted that the mechanisms underlying the associations are not clear.

The incidence of kidney cancer has been increasing globally. Researchers think this increase could be associated with obesity and hypertension. The researchers analyzed longitudinal relationships between hypertension and obesity and kidney cancer incidence in 156,774 participants of the Women’s Health Initiative clinical trials and observational studies over 10.8 years. They also examined the effect of blood pressure on kidney cancer deaths for over 25 years among the 353,340 men screened for the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial .

Kidney cancer rates were observed to be elevated in all categories of systolic blood pressure at or above 140 mm Hg in comparison with rates of 120 mm Hg or lower. The findings were observed to be similar across body mass index categories, although statistical significance was consistently found only above 30 kg/m2.

Death from kidney cancer was also observed to be associated with smoking. The effects of smoking and systolic blood pressure on the risk of death due to kidney cancer were additive. The researchers noted that to some extent obesity and hypertension may represent a shared causal mechanism in the development of kidney cancer. These considerations should be kept in mind in taking measures to try to prevent kidney cancer.

Photo courtesy of rajcreationzs/