Leg length, sitting height and postmenopausal breast cancer risk

Br J Cancer. 2012 Jun 26;107(1):165-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.244. Epub 2012 Jun 7.


Background: Tallness has consistently been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. We investigated the association further by decomposing height into leg length and sitting height.

Methods: From the prospective Danish cohort 'Diet, Cancer and Health', 23 864 postmenopausal women enrolled during 1993-1997 were followed for a diagnosis of breast cancer in the Danish Cancer Registry through 2009.

Results: The incidence rate ratios for breast cancer were 1.11 (95% CI=1.06-1.16) for each 5 cm increase in total height and 1.09 (95% CI=1.01-1.17) and 1.14 (95% CI=1.04-1.25) for each 5 cm increase in leg length and sitting height, respectively. There was no statistical significant difference between the associations for leg length and sitting height (P=0.47).

Conclusion: Leg length does not seem to be more strongly associated with breast cancer among postmenopausal women than sitting height.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Height*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / anatomy & histology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Risk