New Link Between Height and Lymphoma Rates?

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According to a new study of over one million British women, taller people may be at a higher risk for lymphoma and other cancers than shorter people.

As per the results, for every 10 centimeters (four inches) in height above six feet, the subject’s likelihood of developing cancer increased by 1.16 times. This study, which analyzed 1.3 million women in the U.K. who were enrolled in the program between 1996 and 2001, noted that 97,000 cases of cancer were eventually identified.

A total of 10 cancer developments were associated with height: non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, colon, rectal, malignant melanoma, breast, endometrial, ovarian, and kidney. The link between colon cancer and height was particularly noticeable, with every 10-centimer bump in height associating with a 1.25 times higher risk of developing the cancer.

Jane Green and her co-authors compared the results of 10 previous studies of the same ilk across four continents before drawing their conclusions.

"Of course people cannot change their height. Being taller has been linked to a lower risk of other conditions, such as heart disease. The importance of our findings is that they may help us to understand how cancers develop," Greer said in a journal release.

Details of this study as well as commentary from the authors appeared in the most recent issue of the journal Lancet Oncology.

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