Researchers identify both systolic blood pressure and body mass index as being significant predictors of kidney cancer in both men and women.
This is according to analyses of two large data sets performed by Kathleen McTigue, M.D., MPH, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues.
They found that across increasing categories of both BMI and systolic blood pressure, the risk of kidney cancer goes up in women, and the risk of death from kidney cancer goes up in men.
Associations clear, causes unknown
While data clearly indicated the associations, researchers were at a loss to explain the underlying mechanisms at work.
Previous studies into the causes of kidney cancer have had too many limitations for their findings to be taken quite as seriously, so McTigue and colleagues looked at data from two large U.S. cohorts:
- The 156,774 women participating in the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials and observational studies, and
- Fatal kidney cancer in 353,340 men screened as part of the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial.
These participants were followed for 15 to 25 years.
In the Women's Health Initiative, systolic blood pressure (that's the top number in BP, the 140 in "140 over 90") was found to be a predictor at or above 140 mm Hg, compared with rates of at 120 mm Hg or lower. Similar stats were found in categories of BMI, although it was only very consistent in patients with a BMI of 30 kg/m2.
In the MRFIT, risk of kidney cancer death increased along with systolic blood pressure.
"Obesity and hypertension, to some extent, may represent a shared causal mechanism in the development of kidney cancer," wrote the authors. "Both obesity and hypertension have also been associated with oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, which is hypothesized to play a role in kidney cancer pathogenesis. In addition, obesity could increase cancer risk through increased levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor I."
Their findings were reported online in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Source: MedPage Today
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