Researchers: Tall People Are More Likely to Get Cancer

Published On 10/02/2015 Published On 10/02/2015

While being tall certainly has its perks, new research suggests towering over others could mean you're at greater risk for one menacing illness: cancer.

Researchers in Sweden have released a major study suggesting that tall men and women are more likely to get cancer than shorter people, according to a report by The Guardian. Specifically, the study found that for every extra 10cm (about 4in) of height, the chances of developing cancer -- any kind of cancer -- increased by 11% among men and 18% among women. In other words, experts have found significant evidence of a link between how tall you are and your risk of cancer. For once, not being able to see over crowds feels fantastic. 

But what does being tall have to do with how cancer forms? The study's lead researcher, Dr. Emelie Benyi of the Karolinska Institute, said there could be several factors at play; for example, taller peoples' bodies are made up of more cells, and more cells means more potential for cancerous growth. It could also have something to do with how taller people consume more energy than shorter people, among other possible factors, according to the report. So, not exactly a lot you tall people can do.

On the bright side, Dr. Jane Green, clinical epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, told the paper that your height alone does not cause cancer, saying, "To put risk associated with a non-modifiable factor like height in context, it is worth noting that taller people have lower risks for heart disease and a lower risk of death overall.” Wait, so being short sucks, too? Dammit.

The study's early findings were presented at the annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology conference in Barcelona. The full study is yet to be published, but check out more information and comments from the researchers in The Guardian's report.

In the end, while being tall might be linked to a greater risk of cancer, at least you can actually see things at concerts, since, well, we're all gonna die eventually. Enjoy your day!

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and is pretty damn short, unfortunately. Or fortunately? Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.



Learn More