Renal cell cancer (RCC) incidence varies worldwide with a higher incidence in developed countries and lifestyle is likely to contribute to the development of this disease. We examined whether meat and fish consumption were related to the risk of RCC in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). The analysis included 493,179 EPIC participants, recruited between 1992 and 2000. Until December 2008, 691 RCC cases have been identified. Meat and fish consumption was assessed at baseline using country-specific dietary assessment instruments; 24-hour recalls were applied in an 8% subsample for calibration purposes. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Women with a high consumption of red meat (HR = 1.36, 95% CI 1.14-1.62; calibrated, per 50 g/day) and processed meat (HR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.05-3.03; calibrated, per 50 g/day) had a higher risk of RCC, while no association existed in men. For processed meat, the association with RCC incidence was prominent in premenopausal women and was lacking in postmenopausal women (p interaction = 0.02). Neither poultry nor fish consumption were statistically significantly associated with the risk of RCC. The results show a distinct association of red and processed meat consumption with incident RCC in women but not in men. A biological explanation for these findings remains unclear.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cancer

Publication Date





E423 - E431


cohort study, processed meat, red meat, renal cell cancer, Adult, Animals, Carcinoma, Renal Cell, Europe, Female, Fishes, Follow-Up Studies, Food Habits, Humans, Kidney Neoplasms, Male, Meat, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires