A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention has demonstrated a greater risk for all types of cancer in taller women over the age of 50.
It was an unexpected, but across the board, finding.None of the taller women showed a decreased risk of cancer when compared to shorter women.
The risk of developing a host of different cancers, including melanoma, breast cancer, blood cancers, etc. increased significantly (by 13%) for each 10 centimeters – or almost 4 inches – of height in this group of almost 21,000 postmenopausal women.The women were divided into five groups according to height, starting below 5 feet 1 inch.
This association between cancer and height raises some interesting questions regarding the role played by environmental, nutritional and genetic factors, all of which help determine adult height.
Actually, some earlier studies have demonstrated a similar association between cancer and height.
It may be that hormones which influence height may also affect cancer risk.It is also possible that, since taller people have a larger number of cells, their odds are increased of having some cells develop abnormally into cancer.
In any case, it is a somewhat unsettling finding for tall women.