Current Urology Reports

, 16:74 | Cite as

Obesity, Physical Activity and Bladder Cancer

  • Jonathan L. Noguchi
  • Michael A. Liss
  • J. Kellogg ParsonsEmail author
Urothelial Cancer (A Sagalowsky, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Urothelial Cancer


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.


Bladder cancer Adiposity BMI Obesity Physical activity Exercise 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Jonathan L. Noguchi and Michael A. Liss each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

J. Kellogg Parsons is a consultant for Sophiris Bio Inc. and Watson Pharmaceuticals and a speaker for American Medical Systems.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan L. Noguchi
    • 1
  • Michael A. Liss
    • 2
  • J. Kellogg Parsons
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan Diego School of MedicineLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of UrologyUniversity of Texas Health Science Center San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Department of UrologyUC San Diego HealthSan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.VA San Diego Healthcare SystemSan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.UC San Diego Moores Cancer CenterLa JollaUSA

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