Adult height and head and neck cancer: A pooled analysis within the INHANCE Consortium

Emanuele Leoncini, Walter Ricciardi, Gabriella Cadoni, Dario Arzani, Livia Petrelli, Gaetano Paludetti, Paul Brennan, Daniele Luce, Isabelle Stucker, Keitaro Matsuo, Renato Talamini, Carlo La Vecchia, Andrew F. Olshan, Deborah M. Winn, Rolando Herrero, Silvia Franceschi, Xavier Castellsague, Joshua Muscat, Hal Morgenstern, Zuo Feng ZhangFabio Levi, Luigino Dal Maso, Karl Kelsey, Michael McClean, Thomas L. Vaughan, Philip Lazarus, Mark P. Purdue, Richard B. Hayes, Chu Chen, Stephen M. Schwartz, Oxana Shangina, Sergio Koifman, Wolfgang Ahrens, Elena Matos, Pagona Lagiou, Jolanta Lissowska, Neonila Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Leticia Fernandez, Ana Menezes, Antonio Agudo, Alexander W. Daudt, Lorenzo Richiardi, Kristina Kjaerheim, Dana Mates, Jaroslav Betka, Guo Pei Yu, Stimson Schantz, Lorenzo Simonato, Hermann Brenner, David I. Conway, Tatiana V. Macfarlane, Peter Thomson, Eleonora Fabianova, Ariana Znaor, Peter Rudnai, Claire Healy, Paolo Boffetta, Shu Chun Chuang, Yuan Chin Amy Lee, Mia Hashibe, Stefania Boccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Several epidemiological studies have shown a positive association between adult height and cancer incidence. The only study conducted among women on mouth and pharynx cancer risk, however, reported an inverse association. This study aims to investigate the association between height and the risk of head and neck cancer (HNC) within a large international consortium of HNC. We analyzed pooled individual-level data from 24 case-control studies participating in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology Consortium. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated separately for men and women for associations between height and HNC risk. Educational level, tobacco smoking, and alcohol consumption were included in all regression models. Stratified analyses by HNC subsites were performed. This project included 17,666 cases and 28,198 controls. We found an inverse association between height and HNC (adjusted OR per 10 cm height = 0.91, 95 % CI 0.86-0.95 for men; adjusted OR = 0.86, 95 % CI 0.79-0.93 for women). In men, the estimated OR did vary by educational level, smoking status, geographic area, and control source. No differences by subsites were detected. Adult height is inversely associated with HNC risk. As height can be considered a marker of childhood illness and low energy intake, the inverse association is consistent with prior studies showing that HNC occur more frequently among deprived individuals. Further studies designed to elucidate the mechanism of such association would be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


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