Lifestyle & Belief

Tall women have an increased risk of cancer, study says


Australian center Elizabeth Cambage (C) vies with Russian centre Irina Osipova (L) with Liz Jackson (top R) standing by during the women's preliminary round group A basketball match of the London 2012 Olympic Games Russia vs. Australia on August 3, 2012 at the basketball arena in London.



In an unlikely finding, a new study claims that taller women have a higher chance of developing cancer after menopause.

Researchers found that the risk of cancer increased by 13 percent in older women who were above average height.

Luckily for taller women, the reduced risk of heart disease in taller people means that the mortality risk is offset.

The study looked at about 145,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79.

About 20,000 of them developed cancers during the study.

Over 12 years the researchers found that height was actually more strongly tied to cancer than obesity.

Taller women had a significantly higher chance of getting breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, ovary, rectum, thyroid cancers.

Researchers are still not sure why taller women may be more susceptible to certain types of cancer but speculate that hormones that make women taller may also put them at risk.

"We were surprised at the number of cancer sites that were positively associated with height," study author Geoffrey Kabat, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, said in a statement.

Kabat said that "ultimately, cancer is a result of processes having to do with growth, so it makes sense that hormones or other growth factors that influence height may also influence cancer risk."

The findings were published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.