Being tall increases one’s risk of developing cancer as per the new study. They said that the increase in risk is more prominent among women.
According to a report presented at the 54th Annual Society for Pediatric Endocrinology Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain, for each 4 inches or 10 cm increase in height over 1 meter, the chances of developing cancer increase by 18% for woman and 10% for men.
For instance, a 1.72 meter (6 ft) tall Swedish woman was found to be a third more likely to get cancer compared to a woman who was 1.54 meter tall.
The findings of this new study, which are yet to be published in any scientific journal, reaffirm similar connections established by several previous studies. However, this study, according to the researchers, has been carried out on the biggest group of men and women so far.
It’s not yet clear whether the findings of this study will be translating to people living in different climates, following different diet plans and having different genetic backgrounds.
Researchers analyzed military, health and birth data of a total of 5.5 million individuals born between the years 1938 and 1991. The tallest of them all was 2.25 meters tall. The analyzes showed that each additional 10 cm increased breast cancer risk among women by 20% and melanoma risk among both genders by 30%.
A previous US study (of 2013), which only had female participants, revealed that each 10 cm increase in height increases a woman’s risk of having some forms of cancer by 13%.
University of London’s Dorothy Bennett said that at the very first glance this relationship might appear to be a bit odd. However, when analyzed logically, it turns out that it is quite possible that a person who is tall and have more cells in his or her body would be having a greater risk of developing cancer.
The research presented at the 2015 Annual Society for Pediatric Endocrinology Meeting on Thursday had to face some skepticism from experts. They are questioning the procedures used by researchers and stressing that the links between factors like obesity and genetics and cancer risk are much stronger. According to those outside experts, tallness is not the main factor responsible for increasing cancer risk; they said that the levels of growth hormones are possibly the primary influencing factor.