(HealthDay News) — Overweight and obesity in adolescence is associated with an increased risk for developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC) later in life, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in the International Journal of Cancer.

Anna Landberg, from Örebro University in Sweden, and colleagues used data from a cohort of 238,788 Swedish men who underwent mandatory military conscription (1969 through 1976; mean age, 18.5 years) to evaluate the relationship between adolescent body mass index and subsequent risk for RCC. The Swedish Cancer Registry was used to identify incident diagnoses of RCC.

The researchers found that 266 men were diagnosed with RCC during a follow-up of as long as 37 years. There was a trend noted for higher RCC risk with increasing body mass index (BMI) during adolescence, with a one-unit increase in BMI conferring a 6 percent increased risk for RCC. Men with overweight (BMI 25 to <30 kg/m²) or obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m²) had hazard ratios for RCC of 1.76 and 2.87, respectively, versus normal-weight men (BMI 18.5 to <25 kg/m²). No association was seen between RCC and indicators of childhood socioeconomic position or health status, blood pressure, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, cognitive function, or muscle strength as measured at conscription.

“New data supporting a link between adolescent overweight/obesity — alone and in combination with low physical working capacity — and renal cancer adds further important evidence supporting the implementation of early interventions within the rapidly growing group of overweight and obese teenagers,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text