SAN ANTONIO—Obesity, hypertension and smoking are the three modifiable risk factors that could aggressively be targeted to reduce renal cell carcinoma, according to a new study.

A study team from the University of Texas Health Science Center and the South Texas Veterans Healthcare System sought to determine what those are to target disease prevention and reduce healthcare costs.

For an analysis in the journal Urologic Oncology, the researchers used data from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, looking at the primary outcome of kidney cancer and focusing on demographics and modifiable risk factors.1

PLCO is a large population-based randomized trial designed and sponsored by the National Cancer Institute to determine the effects of screening on cancer-related mortality and secondary endpoints in men and women aged 55 to 74. The screening component of the trial was completed in 2006, with participants followed and additional data collected through 2015. 

After missing data were excluded, the researchers analyzed 149,683 participants, noting that 0.5% developed renal cancer. Significantly associated with renal cancer in bivariate analysis (P<0.05) was age, male gender, body mass index, diabetes and hypertension, according to the study team, which added that men have a significant increased risk of kidney cancer over women (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.85; 95% CI: 1.58-2.16; P<0.0001).

Age was identified as a nonmodifiable risk factors associated with kidney

(HR = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.01; 1.05, P = 0.001). Modifiable risk factors include:

  • Obesity measured by body mass index (HR = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.02-1.07; P<0.0001),
  • Hypertension (HR = 1.32; 95% CI: 1.13-1.54; P = 0.0004), and
  • Smoking in pack-years (HR = 1.04; 95% CI: 1.02-1.07; P = 0.0002).

1. Gelfond J, Al-Bayati O, Kabra A, Iffrig K, Kaushik D, Liss MA. Modifiable risk
factors to reduce renal cell carcinoma incidence: Insight from the PLCO trial. Urol Oncol. 2018 Jul;36(7):340.e1-340.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2018.04.011. Epub 2018 May 17. PubMed PMID: 29779672.