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Carcinogenesis. 2017 Oct 26;38(11):1129-1135. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgx083.

Glycemic index, glycemic load and carbohydrate intake in association with risk of renal cell carcinoma.

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Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
School of Public Health, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200025, China.
Department of Urology.
Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHouston, TX 77030USA.


Carbohydrate intake affects postprandial glucose levels and insulin response, which plays a role in carcinogenesis. The relationship between carbohydrate intake, dietary glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL), and risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) remains unclear. We conducted a case-control study including 854 patients with newly diagnosed RCC (cases) and 1255 healthy participants (controls) recruited since 2002. GI, GL and carbohydrate intake were obtained via a validated food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounders. We found that higher GI was significantly associated with RCC risk with an OR of 1.32 (95% CI, 0.99-1.74; Ptrend = 0.026) (the highest versus the lowest quartiles). We also observed an inverse association between fiber intake and RCC risk with OR of 0.70 (95% CI = 0.50-0.99) as well as between starch intake and risk of RCC with OR of 0.65 (95% CI = 0.49-0.87). Individuals with a high-GI diet and hypertension or high body mass index (BMI) had a 2.7 times (OR = 2.67, 95% CI = 1.96-3.64) and two times (OR = 1.95, 95% CI = 1.29-2.92) higher RCC risk, respectively, than those without these factors. Our findings suggest that a high-GI diet is associated with an increased risk of RCC, whereas increased fiber and starch intakes appear to be associated with a decreased risk of RCC. We found that reducing GI levels and increasing fiber intake could be a dietary strategy to decrease RCC risk, especially for individuals with hypertension or high BMI.

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