Are you the tallest person in your friendship group?
If yes, you could be the most likely to develop cancer according to new research.
A study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that taller men and women are more likely to develop cancer than their shorter peers.
The research found that for every 10cm of height the risk of developing cancer can increase by 11 per cent in men and up to 18 per cent in women.
While variables such as obesity, poor diet and smoking play a large contributing factor in the disease, research leader Dr Emelie Benyi outlined two possible explanations for the correlation.
‘One is that taller people have a larger number of cells in their body which could potentially transform to cancer.’
Adding: ‘It could also be that taller individuals have a higher energy intake which has previously been linked to cancer.’
To assess the link between height and cancer the Karolinska Institute study analysed data from 5.5million people. Participants were born between 1938 and 1991 and their heights ranged from 3ft 3in to 7ft 6in.
The most prevalent forms of cancer was found to be skin cancer, which rose 30 per cent for every 10cm of height. While a 20 per cent increase of developing breast cancer was noted in taller women.
contacted Sarah Williams, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, who told us: ‘These findings tally with previous research which suggests taller people may be slightly more likely to develop cancer.
‘But the study didn’t take into account many factors that affect our risk of developing the disease – such as smoking. It also didn’t account for factors that may affect the chance of being diagnosed with cancer – such as whether women went for breast screening.
‘Scientists aren’t sure why height might affect cancer risk, but one suggestion is that taller people simply have more cells so the chance of any one of those cells developing cancer-causing damage is higher.
‘Whatever your height there are lots of things you can do to reduce the risk of cancer – not smoking, cutting down on alcohol, eating healthily, being active, having a healthy weight and enjoying the sun safely can each help you stack the odds against the disease.’
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