Obese individuals with kidney tumors are 48% more likely to develop a clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) than non-obese individuals, researchers reported in BJU International (2010;105:16-20).

The risk increases by 4% for each one-point increment in BMI.

Investigators at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York evaluated 1,640 patients with kidney tumors, of which 88% were malignant. Nearly two-thirds of the malignancies were clear-cell RCC. Overall, 38% of the subjects were obese (BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more).

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Of the clear-cell RCC patients, 42% were obese compared with only 31% of patients with benign tumors. The analysis also showed that 67% of obese patients had malignant tumors with clear-cell RCC compared with 57% of non-obese patients.

The authors concluded that BMI is an independent predictor of clear-cell RCC.