The aim of this study was to determine influence of selected lifestyle factors on kidney cancer. The study brings data from two centres of international multicentric hospital-based analytical observational case-control studies. Data were obtained from a group of 300 patients newly diagnosed with kidney cancer (ICD-O-2 code C64) and 335 controls from two centres in the Czech Republic. Results showed that smoking increased OR to 1.09 (95% CI 0.77–1.55) and 1.06 (95% CI 0.73–1.52), but the results were not statistically significant. Obesity (BMI⩾30) created adjusted OR 1.71 (95% CI 1.11–2.66) and 1.44 (95% CI 0.91–2.28), showing a minor, statistically insignificant, effect of obesity on the development of kidney cancer. For hypertension, adjusted OR was 1.73 (95% CI 1.25–2.40), suggesting a minor to moderate effect of hypertension on kidney cancer. The analysis results showed a positive association between hereditary predisposition and the development of kidney cancer with an OR of 1.97 (95% CI 1.41–2.76) and 1.97 (95% CI 1.40–2.77) depending on the model of adjustment. The reasons for the high incidence of kidney cancer are not fully understood. Genetic polymorphisms, together with other lifestyle and environmental factors, are likely to contribute to various rates of kidney cancer incidence throughout the world.