Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1117–1123 | Cite as

Estimated Urine pH and Bladder Cancer Risk in a Cohort of Male Smokers (Finland)*

  • Margaret E. WrightEmail author
  • Dominique S. Michaud
  • Pirjo Pietinen
  • Philip R. Taylor
  • Jarmo Virtamo
  • Demetrius  Albanes


Objective:Low urine pH may be an important risk factor for bladder cancer, although few studies have evaluated this association. We examined the relationship between estimated renal net acid excretion (NAE), an indirect measure of urine pH based on nutrient intake and anthropometry, and bladder cancer risk in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study.

Methods: At baseline, 27,096 male smokers 50–69 years old completed a dietary questionnaire that assessed usual frequency of consumption and portion sizes for the previous 12 months, had height and weight measured, and provided a history of smoking. A total of 446 incident bladder cancer cases were identified during up to 17.4 years of follow-up.

Results: In multivariate proportional hazards models, the relative risk (RR) for bladder cancer was 1.15 (95% confidence interval (CI)=0.86–1.55) for individuals in the highest (i.e., most acidic) versus the lowest (i.e., least acidic) NAE quintile (p=0.38). Among men who smoked for more than 45 years, there was a suggestion of increased risk with higher NAE levels (RR=1.72, 95% CI=0.96–3.10, p=0.08).

Conclusions: These findings do not indicate that urine pH is a major risk factor for bladder cancer, although certain subsets of individuals may be at increased risk.


bladder neoplasms body weight cohort studies diet net acid excretion urine pH. 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret E. Wright
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dominique S. Michaud
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pirjo Pietinen
    • 3
  • Philip R. Taylor
    • 4
  • Jarmo Virtamo
    • 3
  • Demetrius  Albanes
    • 1
  1. 1.Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and GeneticsNational Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHSRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Health PromotionNational Public Health InstituteHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Cancer Prevention Studies Branch, Center for Cancer ResearchNational Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHSRockvilleUSA

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