Study links cancer to height

Taller people were shown to be at increased risk of melanoma because they have a higher rate of cell division — and simply more skin —than people of average height

Why tall people are at greater risk of cancer

Yes, Nunney's study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B suggests that taller people are at greater risk for cancer.

Among the 23 cancers considered, the rise in risk of the cancers with height was seen in 18 types of cancers, the researchers wrote.

A study suggests that taller people may be at increased risk of melanoma because they have a higher rate of cell division - and, simply, more skin - than people of average height.

In addition, the study also notes that two types of cancers they tested for-melanoma and thyroid cancer-were found to more vulnerable to the increased risk.

TALLER people have a higher risk of cancer "hard wired" into them partly because they have more cells for the disease to target, a study claimed today. Leonard Nunney at the University of California said in a statement that, "If 50/500 average height women got cancer then 60/500 tall (178cm) women would be expected to get cancer".

"We've known that there is a link between cancer risk and height for quite a long time - the taller someone is, the higher the cancer risk", Georgina Hill from Cancer Research UK told CNN.

Professor Dorothy Bennett, director of the Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute at St George's, University of London, welcomed the research, although she said Nunney's calculations involved a number of assumptions, including that cancer risk increases in direct proportion to adult height.

The research also found that the increase in risk is greater for women, with taller women 12% more likely to contract cancer and taller men 9% more likely to do so.

There have been studies earlier that have linked stature with cancers.

Average height varies among regions but in the United States, men are on average 176cm (five feet nine inches) tall, and women 162cm (five feet four inches).

While height is largely determined by an individual's genes, Nunney said that childhood environment also has an effect, and therefore likely impacts associated cancer risks.

However, the risk of stomach, mouth and cervical cancer in women didn't seem to be affected by height. "She added, ".the increased risk is small and there's plenty you can do to reduce the risk of developing cancer, such as not smoking and keeping a healthy weight".

With each 10 centimeters from the average growth the risk of cancer increases by 10%.

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