Stature Linked to Cancer, Alzheimer’s and More


Although it is believed that the difference between tall and short people is that the former get benefits like more money and success at work, stature has been linked to something more serious than a bank account, namely health problems like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and more. It is still unclear how height affects health, but finding the connections is essential when it comes to studying or preventing deadly diseases. As a result, experts across the world are currently trying to find out whether height is directly or inversely proportional to certain conditions.

Stature has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and more affections in studies, but the common denominator between height and disease has yet to be uncovered. Geoffrey Kabat, epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx believes that there might be a connection between size and cancer. After using the data from 144,701 women who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative research, he came to the conclusion that for each additional ten centimeters added to stature, a woman had 1.13 times greater cancer risk, irrespective of the type.

The epidemiologist also stated that taller people produce additional growth factors that could influence the development of cancer, or another explanation is that since tall persons have more cells, it is normal that there are more chances to develop this particular illness.

Cancer in Taller Women

A new research shows that taller women are more prone to develop ovarian cancer, a disease responsible for the death of approximately 15,000 American women on a yearly basis. According to 47 studies, stature influences the risk of ovarian cancer and for each five centimeters added to height, the chances to enroot this type of cancer rose seven percent.

Doctor Tim Byers, professor of preventive medicine and biometrics at the University of Colorado stated that “height is an indicator of some risk factor, but we don’t know what the mechanism is.”

Other Dangers

Several studies show that stature has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and more. The condition which causes dementia in 5.4 older Americans has been known to be connected to age and genetic history, but recent research shows that the risk is higher for shorter people.

The study carried out in 2007 compared 239 Alzheimer’s patients with 341 healthy persons and concluded that men taller than five feet ten inches had a 59 percent lower risk of developing this disease.

Another condition which is thought to be linked to stature is diabetes type one, also called juvenile diabetes. A study carried out in 202 and published in the journal Pediatrics showed that “taller children generally seem to experience increased risk of development of diabetes mellitus type 1.”

Finally, stroke is also believed to be linked to stature, especially since one Israeli study in which over 10,o00 men participated demonstrated that each additional five centimetres are responsible for a 13 percent increase in fatal stroke risk. Although doctors like Jane Green, lead researcher at the University of Oxford acknowledge the fact that “height itself cannot affect cancer” and other conditions of its kind, there is a connection that has not been pinpointed yet. Therefore, since tall people have more cells that can mutate and turn into tumors, stature has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and more conditions. However, no further details have yet surfaced that can shed light on the connection between height and deadly illnesses.

By Gabriela Motroc

ABC News
BBC News

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