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Activity May Reduce Risk of Kidney Cancer

Older man playing tennisA new review of the evidence including over 2 million people now suggests that getting plenty of activity – whether at work or recreationally – may help prevent kidney cancer.

The analysis, published in the British Journal of Cancer, identified 19 relevant studies. All of the studies investigated the link between physical activity and kidney cancer among cancer-free individuals. The studies included 2.3 million individuals, with almost 11,000 of them being diagnosed with kidney cancer.

Study researchers found that those who were the most active had a 12 percent reduced risk of kidney cancer compared to the least active. It did not matter if people got their activity as part of their job or recreationally. Then the researchers conducted another analysis, using only the top-third highest quality studies and found the link was even stronger. The studies that scored well enough to place them into the top tier tended to use an objective measure of physical activity, looked at recreational physical activity and took into account a person’s weight and whether he/she smoked or had diabetes.

When focusing on what the authors called “high-quality” studies,  the authors found a 22 percent reduced risk comparing those who were the most to least physically activity. The finding held after taking into account body fat, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, smoking and gender. AICR's expert report and its continuous updates found people can prevent kidney cancer by staying a healthy weight.


Source: G Behrens and M F Leitzmann. "The association between physical activity and renal cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis." British Journal of Cancer 108, 798-811 (5 March 2013).

Published on March 20, 2013

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