A new study shows a man’s risk for prostate cancer appears to increase with his height.
It shouldn’t change your decisions about screening because height appears to play less of a role than other known prostate cancer risk factors like age, family history and race. But the findings may open up a new line of scientific inquiry into the causes of prostate cancer.
Researchers from four universities in England studied more than 9,000 men and found that the tallest men had a 19 percent higher risk of developing prostate cancer than shorter men. Using the shortest men as a baseline, the study showed that risk increased 6 percent for every additional 4 inches in height. The report, published in Cancer epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, showed an even stronger association between height and aggressive cancers.
A woman’s height also is associated with breast cancer risk. Women who are 5-feet-9 or taller have a small increase in risk of both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer compared to women 5-feet-3 or shorter.