Greater Cancer Risk in Taller Women

By  , Agency News
Jul 29, 2013

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tall woman at risk of cancerA new study says that the taller a postmenopausal woman is, the more chances she has to develop cancer. The study was led by Geoffrey Kabat, Ph.D., senior epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York.

Dr. Kabat said that his team was surprised to find the number of cancer sites that were positively associated with height. He also said that in this data set, more cancers are associated with height than were associated with body mass index. The study found that height was in fact associated to cancers of the breast, colon, endometrial, kidney, ovary, rectum, and thyroid as well as to multiple myeloma and melanoma, and these links did not change even after adjusting for factors known to influence these cancers. Hence, cancer is actually a result of processes that have to do with growth, and so it makes sense for hormones or other outer growth factors to influence height which then may influence cancer risk.

In the research 20,928 women had diagnosed with one or more invasive cancers during 12 years of follow up. The effect of height was studied for which many factors that influence cancers like age, weight, education, smoking habits, alcohol consumption and hormone therapy were accounted for.

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