Tall Women More Susceptible To Colon Cancer

Dr. Aaron P. Thrift PhD Public Health Sciences Division Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle, WA.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aaron P. Thrift, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX 77030-3498

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Thrift: Greater attained adult height is associated with increased risk of all cancers combined; however, the association may differ by cancer site and between women and men. For colorectal cancer, epidemiological studies suggest that the association with height may be stronger for women than for men. We used data from over 10,000 patients with colorectal cancer and over 10,000 population-based controls and conducted multiple analyses, including using Mendelian randomization (which incorporates genomic data with traditional approaches) to overcome potential issues of confounding and bias in observational studies, to further examine the association between height and risk of colorectal cancer. Overall, we found that taller height was associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer (8% increased risk per 10cm increase in height). When we examined women and men separately, our results strongly suggest that height is causally associated with colorectal cancer risk for women, whereas there was weaker evidence for a causal association between height and colorectal cancer risk for men.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Thrift: Height (in particular, factors associated with height such as number of susceptible cells in a specific organ or growth-influencing exposures in childhood) is associated with increased risk for colorectal cancer and height may have utility in clinical risk stratification for colorectal cancer. However, height is unlikely to explain the excess incidence of colorectal cancer for men.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Thrift: Mechanistic studies of the effect of height on colorectal cancer are warranted, and the sex-specific effects of height on risk of colorectal cancer require further investigation in larger studies.


Aaron P Thrift et al

Mendelian randomization study of height and risk of colorectal cancer Int. J. Epidemiol. first published online May 20, 2015 doi:10.1093/ije/dyv082

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron P. Thrift, Ph.D. (2015). Tall Women More Susceptible To Colon CancerĀ 

Last Updated on June 4, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD