A recent study suggests that the risk of cancer is greater in people who are taller. The Swedish study involved more than 5.5 million people.
The study found that the cancer risk increased by about 18% in men and 11% in women for every 4 extra inches of height. The study reported that taller women are predisposed to developing breast cancer. The risk of developing the disease was 20% greater. The risk of developing melanoma also increased, in this case, for every 4 extra inches of height the rate increased by 30%.
Researchers reviewed health records gathered throughout the last century. In total, the study involved more than 5.5 million people. The team that conducted the study tracked their health from when they were 19. The earlier subject was born in 1938. The research reviewed people between 3 feet and 5 inches to as tall as 7 feet.
Emelie Benyi, professor at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, who was also the lead researcher of the study, declared that this was the largest study of its kind. She stressed that not every tall person will develop cancer, because the causes of cancers are all kind of different factors, way too many to ever predict.
Researchers from the American Cancer Society declared that their study only confirms what numerous other studies have tried to show. Previous studies have shown that there could possibly be a link between colon cancer and height as well.
Susan Gapstur, vice president of the American Cancer Society, cleared the air by saying that the new findings just show that there is a link between height and an increased risk of developing cancer, and that tall people should not worry that their height could cause cancer. She encouraged people not to worry about these results.
But how can cancer risk be related to height? Susan Gapstur declared that one’s weight could reflect his/her early exposures to cancer. Since height is an indicator of genetics and what has one been exposed to, the study could shed some light on our understanding of early life exposures.
The results of the research were presented this week at the annual conference of the European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology, Barcelona. However, studies that are presented at such meetings are viewed as preliminary by the scientific community, at least until they are published in scientific journals.
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