Obesity, Physical Activity and Bladder Cancer

Jonathan L. Noguchi, Michael A. Liss, J. Kellogg Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


While smoking and exposure to certain chemicals are well-defined risk factors for bladder cancer, there is no consensus as to the roles of modifiable lifestyle factors, notably physical activity, and obesity. We evaluated associations of obesity and physical activity with bladder cancer risk by performing a system-wide search of PubMed for cohort and case-control studies focused on obesity, exercise, and bladder cancer. A total of 31 studies were identified that evaluated the associations of obesity and physical activity with bladder cancer risk: 20 focused on obesity, eight on physical activity, and three on both. There was marked heterogeneity in population composition and outcomes assessment. Fifteen (65 %) of the obesity studies used prevalence or incidence as the primary outcome and seven (30 %) used bladder cancer mortality. Ten (44 %) observed positive and 13 (56 %) null associations of obesity with bladder cancer. Three (100 %) of three studies also noted strong positive associations of obesity with bladder cancer progression or recurrence. Ten (91 %) of the physical activity studies analyzed prevalence or incidence and one (9 %) mortality. One (9 %) study observed positive, seven (64 %) null, and three (27 %) negative associations of physical activity with bladder cancer. Study heterogeneity precluded quantitative assessment of outcomes. Obesity is potentially associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, particularly for progression, recurrence, or death. Further studies of physical activity and bladder cancer are needed to validate these observations and elucidate the associations of exercise with bladder cancer progression and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number74
JournalCurrent urology reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015


  • Adiposity
  • BMI
  • Bladder cancer
  • Exercise
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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