The research is published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. It finds a correlation between height and cancer risk among post-menopausal women.
Researchers studied more than one million women and found that every 4-inch increase in height corresponded to a 13 percent hike in the risk of 10 cancers, including melanoma, breast, ovarian, endometrial and colon cancer.
Of the cancers linked to height, colon cancer had the strongest association. Height corresponded with up to a 25 percent increased risk. The question that remains is why.
“We really don't know why it could be hormonal, it could be metabolic, it could be food intake as a child,” said Dr. Randall Burt, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. “If anything it will lead us to discover why that is the case.”
In the meantime, experts caution the findings should not make tall women to worry more or short women to worry less.
“It's just as important for everyone as for tall women to decrease their cancer risk with a healthy diet, by physical activity, by screenings, those are the things that matter,” said Dr. Randall.