Study Links Women's Height to Cancer

Taller women at greater risk
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2013 2:41 PM CDT
Study Links Women's Height to Cancer

Good news, short women: you may not be able to reach the top shelf without a chair, but you might be less likely to get cancer. A new study of nearly 145,000 post-menopausal women found a strong correlation between height and cancer risk—stronger even than the correlation for well-known risk factors such as obesity, Reuters reports. The link was seen across a host of cancers, from thyroid to melanoma.

But researchers don't actually think being tall gives you cancer. Height "should be thought of as a marker for one or more exposures that influence cancer risk, rather than a risk factor itself," the authors write. After all, cancer is basically uncontrolled growth, so factors that simulate developmental growth may extend to it as well. And besides, tall people are less likely to get heart disease, one doctor says, "so there is no reason for those of us who are tall to panic." (More cancer risk stories.)

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