Saturday, July 23, 2011

Time to Slouch

Yes, I have heard about the study (via @medlineplus4you on Twitter) suggesting taller people are at increased risk of cancer, and as a tall person I am naturally all agog.
Among women, the risk of breast, ovarian, uterine and bowel cancer, leukemia or melanoma appears to go up about 16 percent for every 4-inch bump in stature, the researchers said.
This is based on data from 1.3 million women, whose information was divided into four groups based on height, from those shorter than 5'1" up to those 5'9" and taller.

One theory mentioned is that taller people might be exposed to more growth hormones, which might encourage the development of cancers later in life.

This is obviously not directly relevant to anyone's personal life, since height isn't something you can do much about (indeed, one researcher is quoted as stressing that "[t]he study is important not for individual or public health, but because it may help us to understand better how cancer develops"), but it is interesting.

So it's not all fun and games for us tall people, but at least we can reach things from high shelves. That makes up for a lot.


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