An unfortunate study has come out of Sweden - it turns out that after looking through physical and health data for around five million people, tall women are at risk for cancer. For every four inches (ten centimeters) over one meter in height, the odds of developing cancer (it is isn't specified which kind) increases by 10% in men and a whopping 18% in women. The reports was presented at a medical conference in Barcelona.
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One of the examples they provided was that a Swedish woman who was 1.72 meters (about six feet) would a third more likely to contract cancer than a woman who was only 1.52 meters.
The findings haven't been published in any scientific journals, but they did find links that were in studies that have been published. Still, the researchers said that their work was based on the largest sample pool yet.
It was not immediately clear how their research would translate to people who live outside of Sweden, or people who have different genetics or diets. The research looked at people born between 1938 and 1992, using health, birth, and military records of around 5.5 million people.
There were some indications of specific types of cancer. For example, for every 10 centimeters added to the height, a woman had a 20-percent higher risk of breast cancer while there was a staggering 30-percent increase in melanoma, according to Discovery News.
A study from the US in 2013 found that women were 13% more likely to develop certain cancers for every 10 centimeters of height.
Still, many doctors stress that there are conditions that are linked more closely with cancer, such as genetics or obesity.
It sounds an odd relationship at first glance, but it is actually very plausible that the risk of cancer in a person should be related to the number of cells in their body, since that determines the number of cells ‘at risk’,” Dorothy Bennett, a scientist at University of London said in comments issued by the Science Media Center. “A cancer arises by mutations from a single normal cell. Bigger people have more cells.”
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Mel Greaves, a researcher at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, added: “Tall people shouldn’t worry that they are destined to get cancer.”