The Serious Health Risks Tall People Need to Know About

If people tend to look up to you, this is health news you'll want to remember—and discuss with your doctor.

The Serious Health Risk Tall People Need to Know AboutPhoto: Allstars/Shutterstock

Tall people are more likely to develop this disease

There are a lot of benefits to being tall beyond being able to reach the top shelf without a step ladder. More cash anyone? That’s right: tall men earn more money, reports LiveScience. On the other hand, there is also a huge drawback: according to a new study out of the University of California Riverside, tall people may be more likely to develop cancer. (Here are 13 signs of cancer men are likely to ignore.)

Leonard Nunney, PhD, a researcher at UC Riverside, reviewed four large population studies that tracked height and cancer incidence. Nunny identified more than 10,000 total cases of cancer, and when he looked at the odds given a person’s height, he found that cancer risk rose by 10 per cent for every four inches above average height a person is—average being 5’4″ for women and 5’9″ for men.

“If you were comparing a five-foot guy to a basketball player who’s over seven feet tall, then that basketball player has around twice the risk of cancer across the board,” he told Australia’s ABC. (Doctors are most likely to miss these 11 diseases.)

In the study, which was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Nunney explained that one possible reason tall people have an increased risk of cancer may be due to the simple fact that they have more cells in their bodies; the more cell division you have happening, the greater the chances that cells will mutate and lead to tumour growth.

Nunney found that the correlation between height and cancer risk was consistent with 18 out of the 23 types of cancer he tracked. He also discovered that melanoma skin cancer risk carried an unexpectedly strong relationship with height. And taller women had an increased risk of thyroid cancer, as well.

Next, here are 15 skin cancer myths you need to stop believing right now.

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