Height and lung cancer risk: A meta-analysis of observational studies

PLoS One. 2017 Sep 26;12(9):e0185316. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185316. eCollection 2017.


Background: The association between height and lung cancer risk has been investigated by epidemiological studies but the results are inconsistent. This meta-analysis was to evaluate whether the height is associated with lung cancer.

Methods: We identified relevant articles by searching the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases, and reviewed the reference lists of selected papers. A random effect model was used to calculate summary odds ratios (OR) and relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Publication bias was estimated using Egger's regression asymmetry test.

Results: We included a total 16 studies (15 prospective studies and one case-control study) on adult height and lung cancer risk in the meta-analysis. Overall, per 10-cm height increases were associated with increased risk of lung cancer (RR 1.06; 95% CI 1.03-1.09, I2 = 43.6%).

Conclusions: In this meta-analysis, high adult height is related to increased lung cancer risk. Well-designed, large prospective studies are required to obtain a better indication of the relationship.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Body Height*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*

Grant support

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, China [grant numbers BK20160451 and BK20130456], and the Clinical Medicine Science and Technology Projects of Jiangsu Province, China [BL2012054].