Study: Tall women have higher cancer risk
By Monte Morin
You are blessed to be average or even short?
OS ANGELES (MCT) The taller a postmenopausal woman is, the greater risk she faces of developing cancer, according to a new study.
In a paper published Thursday in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers concluded that a woman's cancer risk increased 13 percent with every 4 inches of height.
The study is the latest of several to report an association between women's height and cancer, according to lead study author Geoffrey Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
While it is unlikely that height in and of itself promotes cancer, the multitude of factors that influence growth such as nutrition, genetics and environment are likely responsible.
"Height was significantly positively associated with risk of all cancers, (including) cancers of the thyroid, rectum, kidney, endometrium, colorectum, colon, ovary and breast, and with multiple myeloma and melanoma," the authors concluded.
The study was based on data from 144,701 women, aged 50 to 79, who participated in the Women's Health Initiative study in the 1990s. Researchers adjusted for other potential cancer risks, such as weight, smoking, alcohol consumption and hormone therapy, as well as for frequency of cancer screening.
When researchers examined the study cohort, they found that the women's average age and body mass index decreased as their height increased, whereas their average weight, rate of smoking and alcohol intake increased with height.
"As anticipated, younger women and women with higher income had greater mean height compared to older women and women with lower income, respectively," authors wrote.
Researchers offered a number of possible explanations for the connection between height and cancer risk.
Also, the study data did not include information on leg length and sitting height known biomarkers of growth hormone exposure.
“We’re not attempting to create a monkey with autism, but we’re looking for changes in behaviors that parallel features of human autism,” Bauman said. “Our data suggest that the antibody-exposed animals were not following a typical trajectory of social development, and both their mother and their peers also appeared to detect these differences.”
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