Cancer Risk May Increase with Height for a Simple Reason

Hepatitis C Cost Cutting
November 20, 2018
Risk of MS Seen in Changes in Temperature and Salt That Affect Myelin, Study Reports
November 21, 2018
Show all

Cancer Risk May Increase with Height for a Simple Reason

The taller you are, the greater your risk of cancer may be, a new study finds.

The taller you are, the greater your risk of cancer may be, a new study finds.

The idea that there may be a link between height and cancer risk has been around since the 1950s, according to study author Leonard Nunney, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Riverside. So, he decided to investigate.

For the study, which was published Oct. 24 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Nunney analyzed data from four large-scale studies totaling hundreds of thousands of cancer patients. He found that every additional 10 centimeters (4 inches) in height was associated with a 10 percent increase in cancer risk.

Still, the findings do not prove that being tall increases cancer risk; rather, they found an association between height and cancer risk. [10 Do’s and Don’ts to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer]

The link between height and cancer risk, however, could have a rather simple explanation: Taller people have more cells in their bodies, Nunney told Live Science.

Cancer is the result of mutations in a single cell’s DNA, Nunney said. One way that these mutations can occur is when cells in the body divide, which happens countless times over a person’s life. Some of these mutations are harmless, but others can result in a cell dividing out of control. The more cells, the higher the rates of mutations and the higher the odds that one of these mutations will lead to cancer, Nunney said.

The study looked at 23 types of cancer in men and women and found a strong correlation between height and the risk for 14 types of cancers. For some cancers, however — specifically, those of the pancreas, esophagus, stomach and mouth — the study found no link between height and risk.

Read on: Cancer Risk May Increase with Height for a Simple Reason

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

Comments are closed.