Being tall can increase cancer risk: Study
London: Taller people could be more at risk of developing cancer, claimed a new study that examined over a million people. The report, published by the Royal Society, showed that for each 10 cm of increased height among women, there was a 13 per cent increase in cancer risk. For men, the number was 11 per cent.
For every 10 cm increase in human height above the average used in the study of 5ft 7in for men and 5ft 3in for women, there is a 10 per cent greater risk of that person getting cancer, the BBC reported, adding that a person's risk factor depended on their exact height.
"If 50/500 average height women got cancer then 60/500 tall (178cm) women would be expected to get cancer. If you consider a very tall woman, say 6'2" (188cm), then you'd expect 67/500," Leonard Nunney from the University of California, was quoted as saying.
Further, the study examined 23 types of cancers and increased height was found to be a risk factor in 18 of them. Of 18 cancer types analysed in both men and women, four - pancreas, oesophagus, stomach and mouth/pharynx - showed no apparent increase with height.
One type of cancer that did not show any risk associated with height was cervical cancer, which, according to Nunney, has been associated with HPV infections. Skin cancer, on the other hand, showed the highest risk increase.
This could be due to an increase in growth hormones that can cause an increase in cell division rates, leading to the kinds of larger mutations seen in skin cancers. For the study, the team compiled data from four large-scale studies on 23 cancer types in the UK, US, South Korea, Austria, Norway and Sweden.