Leonard Nunney is an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Riverside. He recently decided to start exploring the idea that cancer risk may be correlated to a person's height. He conducted four large studies that included hundreds of thousands of cancer patients. “He found that every additional 10 centimeters in height was associated with a 10% increase in cancer risk” (Pultarova). This study was published October 24, in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Journal. His research did not necessarily prove that being tall increases your risk of cancer, but rather, the two factors might be associated. In an interview with LiveScience, Nunny stated that these findings could have a very simple explanation- “Taller people have more cells in their bodies” (Pultarova). Cancer is often a result of mutations in a single cell’s DNA that occurs when the cell divides. Ultimately, Nunney concluded that “The more cells, the higher rates of mutations and the higher odds that one of these mutations will lead to cancer” (Pultarova). The study focused on 23 different types of cancer and found that 14 of the illnesses can be traced back to a person’s height. There are many other influences and genetic factors that are correlated with cancer, however, it is interesting to think that height might be one of them.
Pultarova, Tereza. “Cancer Risk May Increase with Height for a Simple Reason.” LiveScience, Purch, 1 Nov. 2018, www.livescience.com/63990-cancer-risk-height.html.