Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) may increase one’s risk of developing cancer of the liver, colon, and kidney, according to a study published in The Lancet Oncology.1

Researchers enrolled 4346 patients with PKD and 4346 healthy controls, all aged 20 years or older, and all of whom made an inpatient claim at the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. No enrolled patients with PKD had a history of cancer, chronic kidney disease, or end-stage renal disease.

Risks were reported as hazard ratios (HRs). Cases of cancer were nearly twice as common for patients with PKD, in contrast with healthy controls (20.1 versus 10.9 per 1000 person-years). Adjusted HRs were higher for patients with PKD: 1.49 for liver cancer, 1.63 for colon cancer, and 2.45 for kidney cancer.

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The authors conclude that health care professionals ought to consider these results when treating patients with PKD. HRs were calculated using Cox proportional hazard regression models.


  1. Yu TM, Chuang YW, Yu MC, et al. Risk of cancer in patients with polycystic kidney disease: a propensity-score matched analysis of a nationwide, population-based cohort study. Lancet Oncol. 2016 Aug 19. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30250-9 [Epub ahead of print]