Tall Women Are More Likely to Get Cancer, New Study Finds

by | July 21, 2011 at 1:25 PM | General

Most women yearn to be tall, with the long legs of a supermodel. However, a new study conducted at Oxford University and published in The Lancet Oncology could make shorter females content, and even happy, with their lesser stature.

After poring over nine years worth of medical records of more than one million British women, researchers found that women over 5ft. 9in. are 33 percent more likely to get cancer during their lifetime than shorter women closer to 5ft. (the average height of women in the U.S. is 5ft. 4in.).

In fact, the risk is said to spike by almost 16 per cent for every four additional inches.

The reason for the increased occurrence of cancer in statuesque women hasn’t been attributed to one factor, but two possibilities have been cited: above average height is believed to increase the hormone levels that to trigger tumors, and an increased amount of cells in a taller body means more chances for them to turn cancerous.

The study dissected the relationship between height and common cancers including: breast, bowel, kidney, womb, ovarian and leukemia and ultimately found the results to be “is similar in different populations.”

 

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Science Magazine also points out that there is evidence to support the idea that the height and cancer correlation also applies to men and women in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America “when data were pooled with ten previous studies of cancer and height.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean runway models and members of the WNBA should lose sleep over the somewhat troubling findings.

“Tall people need not be alarmed,” explained Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK. “Most people are not a lot taller than average and their height will only have a small effect on their individual cancer risk.”