For Women, Taller Is Not Always Better

Oxford University study finds link between height and cancer risk in women

News flash to all you leggy ladies out there: A recent Oxford University study found that the taller a woman is, the greater her risk of developing one of 10 different cancers.

Researchers of this UK-based study followed 1.3 million middle-aged women over a period of several years and concluded that cancer risk increased by about 16-percent for every four inches of increased height.

According to a study published in the Lancet Oncology journal, “The tallest group (women five-foot-nine or taller) were 37-percent more likely to develop cancer than the shortest group (women five-feet and shorter) regardless of factors such as age, socioeconomic status, body-mass index and amount of physical activity.”

We know you’re wondering why (so are we), but underlying reasons for the risk are unknown. Speculations have been raised: The authors of the study think it could lie in the fact that taller people have more cells in their bodies, “thus creating a greater opportunity for mutations leading to malignant transformation.”

As girl who stands at a meager five-foot-three (in heels!), I’ve always been jealous of those lucky legs-for-days ladies. But now? I’m just sayin’—I finally have a reason to be grateful for being short.