ISLAMABAD: Taller women are at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to a new review of scientific evidence.
Every five centimeter increase in height translates to a seven per cent rise in a woman's chances of developing the disease during their lifetime, according to the overview of 47 previous studies by Oxford academics.
The authors of the paper in the British Medical Journal, which included more than 25,000 women with ovarian cancer and 80,000 healthy controls, said the findings were important because women's average height is increasing by 1cm per decade.
They also established a similar link between heavier body weight and ovarian cancer risk in women who have never used menopausal hormone replacement therapy.
But although the increase in risk is statistically significant, the chance of any particular person contracting ovarian cancer is so low that their height will only make a marginal difference, independent experts claimed.
Dr Paul Pharoah, a cancer expert from Cambridge, said: "If we compare a woman who is 5' 0" tall with a woman who is 5' 6" tall, there is a relative difference in ovarian cancer risk of 23 per cent.
"But, the absolute risk difference is small. The shorter woman will have a lifetime risk of about 16 in a 1000 which increases to 20 in a 1000 for the taller woman."
Although there is a solid body of research linking height and weight with the risk of several different cancers, the evidence relating to ovarian cancer had been inconsistent and the review succeeded in delivering a "fundamentally sound" conclusion, he added. (APP)