The Lancelot Oncology published a study on over one million women, which found that for ever four inches above five feet, a woman’s risk of cancer increased 16%. Furthermore, woman over 5’9″ had a 37% higher risk of cancer than those under 5ft. Some of the types of cancer where tall women are susceptible to an increased risk are: breast, colon, uterine, leukemia, and melanoma. Don’t be alarmed, most people are relatively close to average height, so the increased risk or benefit is relatively small.
What is the reason for this correlation? Scientist and Doctors are not sure. Although, there are 2 leading theories: 1) tall people have more cells, therefore more cells can mutate into cancerous tumors and 2) tall people have higher levels of growth hormones, which increases cell growth and the rate of division, but inhibits cell death.
Don’t fret tall people, there are still some health benefits to being tall.
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Higher self-esteem
- Statistically significant, but still weak, correlation between height and IQ
- Taller women more likely to develop cancer (guardian.co.uk)
- Tall people at heightened risk for cancer: Study (cbsnews.com)
- Tall Women Linked to Greater Cancer Risk (women.webmd.com)
- Being tall ‘raises cancer risk’ (bbc.co.uk)