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Chronic kidney disease may raise ...

Posted May 15 2009 10:35pm

Chronic kidney disease may raise cancer risk

NEW YORK, 16 may 2009 – Older men with moderately reduced kidney function appear to be at increased risk for cancers of the lung and the urinary tract, Australian researchers report.

"Given that chronic kidney disease of this severity affects 20% of the male population, our finding suggests that chronic kidney disease prevention may be a novel and worthwhile strategy for reducing cancer risk in the general population," they conclude.

It's known that people with end stage renal disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant, are at increased risk for cancer, Dr. Germaine Wong and colleagues explain in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. However, it has been unclear if this increased risk begins earlier in the course of chronic kidney disease.

To investigate this issue, Wong at Westmead Hospital and her team studied data on 3049 people, aged 49 to 97 years. Nearly a third had moderate kidney disease but none was on dialysis or had undergone kidney transplantation.

During an average follow-up of 10 years, men with chronic kidney disease, but not women, had a significantly higher cumulative occurrence of cancer. The rate was the equivalent of 23 cases annually per 1000 men with kidney disease, compared with 17 cases annually per 1000 men without kidney disease.

The risk of cancer increased with progressively worsening kidney function, "reaching a maximum three-fold increased risk ... which is similar to the risk increase seen in dialysis and kidney transplant patients."

While reduced kidney function in men was associated with lung and urinary tract cancers, it was not linked to colorectal or prostate cancers.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, online April 30, 2009.

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