Your weekly issue is 1
now FREE on iPad
Essential clinical info by medical professionals
BONUS FEATURES exclusive to iPad
Cancer risk higher for tall women
TALLER women are at greater risk of developing cancer, data from the UK Million Women Study show.
Analysis of the prospective cohort study showed that for every 10 cm increase in height, women had a 16% overall increased risk of cancer.
An increase of 10 cm in height led to a 32% increased risk for malignant melanoma, renal cancer (29%), leukaemia (26%) and colon cancer (25%).
Of the 17 cancers studied, only mouth/pharynx and bladder cancers were not associated with an increased risk due to being taller, the researchers said.
They found smoking status was the only one of 12 personal characteristics controlled for that attenuated the effect of height on cancer risk.
The effect of height on cancer risk varied little between Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia, as shown by a meta-analysis of data from this and 10 other studies , the authors said.
Similarities between countries suggested there may be a common mechanism for the link between height and cancer risk, possibly acting in early life.
“Another possibility is that height predicts cancer risk because taller people have more cells, and thus a greater opportunity for mutations leading to malignant transformation,” they said.
Lancet Oncology 2011; online 21 July