The average height of men in the US is 5 ft 9 1/5 inches. Women in the US, on average, are a commanding 5 ft 4 inches, according to the National Health Statistics published by the CDC (Oct 2008). Being tall may have its advantages like reaching the upper cabinets or having an advantage in catching a rebound, but a recent study in Lancet Oncology revealed a downside to tallness.
According to the study by Dr. Jane Green, et. al., tall women are at higher risk for developing cancer. Analysis of data from the Million Women Study, a study of women’s health conducted in middle age women from the UK between 1996 and 2001, revealed that the risk of developing any cancer type increased along with height in women. When they looked at individual cancers, tall women had increased risk for developing colon, rectal, melanoma, breast, endometrial, ovarian, kidney, CNS, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and leukemia cancers. This link appears to be independent of other potentially influencing factors including smoking or socioeconomic status.