Study: Tall girls at a greater risk for cancer

Laura Donovan Contributor
Font Size:

Things sure aren’t looking up for tall females, who already struggle to find tall guys to date and often feel self-conscious in high heels.

As if those problems are not traumatizing enough, women with more height now have an increased risk of developing cancer.

According to new research from British medical journal The Lancet, the taller a woman is, the greater her chance of a diagnosis of one of ten different types of cancer.

Though the connection between height and cancer remains a mystery, cancer researcher Dr. Michael Barry said in a press release that the length of the study and the number of patients sampled seem to make the discoveries worthy of further consideration and attention.

“When we hear studies like these, we may certainly feel confused,” Barry said in the release, adding that people have no power over their height.

While height may fuel cancer risk, there are plenty of other ways women can fall victim to the deadly illness.

“In reality, no single occurrence, behavior or trait causes cancer, but cancer is a very complicated disease and there are many things that might contribute to it,” Barry said.

Barry, who said that drinking, smoking, and poor eating habits may lead to cancer, noted that negative emotions and stress also can have a detrimental effect on a person’s health.

“Besides environmental factors, genetics, behaviors and now height, there are things we can do emotionally and mentally to lower our cancer risk,” Barry said.

Though the study didn’t investigate why height might increase the risk of cancer, researchers theorize that since taller bodies simply contain more cells, they may be more likely to undergo problematic cell mutations.

Researchers followed 1.3 million middle-aged females in the United Kingdom for several years, and concluded that the risk of cancer shot up by about 16 percent with every 4 inches of added height. Of the women evaluated, 97,376 reported incidents of cancer, and height-related increases were greatest for the following cancers: breast, malignant melanoma, colon, endometrial, kidney, central nervous system, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia.

Follow Laura on Twitter

Laura Donovan