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Man's height linked to prostate cancer

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:39pm

London (PTI): British researchers have suggested a link between a man's height and increased risk for development of prostate cancer. The study is published in the September issue of 'Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention', a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The researchers, who conducted their study on the connection and also reviewed 58 published studies, said a man's height is a modest marker for risk of prostate cancer development, but is more strongly linked to progression of the cancer. Twelve researchers at four universities in England studied more than 9,000 men with and without prostate cancer and estimated that the risk of developing the disease rises by about six percent for every 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) in height if a man is over the shortest group of men in the study.

It means a man who is one foot taller than the shortest person in the study would have a 19 percent increased risk of developing the disease, the Science Daily online reported. However, the study suggested that these increases in risk are a lot less than those linked with other established risk factors, such as age, family history of the disease. "Compared to other risk factors, the magnitude of the additional risk of being taller is small, and we do not believe that it should interfere with preventive or clinical decisions in managing prostate cancer," said the study's lead author Luisa Zuccolo, of the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Bristol.

"But the insight arising from this research is of great scientific interest. Little is known on the causes of prostate cancer and this association with height has opened up a new line of scientific inquiry," he stressed.
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