Positive side of obesity: better survival in kidney cancer

kidney cancer survival

Obesity are usually linked to negative health effects, such as high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, abnormal blood fats, and metabolic syndrome.

Nevertheless, a recent study shows that obese people have better survival in kidney cancer. The finding is published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Researchers from Sookmyung Women’s University in the Republic of Korea, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in the Republic of Korea, Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and Harvard School of Public Health conducted the study.

They analyzed a large cohort of patients with kidney cancer cell and undertook a meta-analysis of the published evidence. A meta-analysis is a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific findings.

Researchers collect clinical and pathologic data from 1,543 patients who underwent treatment of kidney cancer between 1994 and 2008. All patients were followed through 2008.

Patients were grouped according to their BMI: underweight < 18.5, normal weight 18.5 to < 23, overweight 23 to < 25, and obese >= 25. Researchers estimated their survival and the impact of BMI on overall survival and cancer-specific survival, and recurrence-free survival.

The result showed that in obese people, the overall survival and cancer-specific survival were higher than that in normal weight patients. In addition, high BMI strongly improved overall survival, cancer-specific survival, and recurrence-free survival.

Researchers suggest that high BMI prior to cancer surgery is associated with improved survival when compared with low BMI. Future research is needed to explain why high BMI can benefit patients with kidney cancer, and whether other lifestyle factors can improve survival.

Citation: Choi Y, et al. (2013). Body mass index and survival in patients with renal cell carcinoma: A clinical-based cohort and meta-analysis. International Journal of Cancer, 132: 625-634. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27639.
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