Tall people at greater risk of cancer "because they have more cells"

Scientists have put forward a number of different explanations for this, including that certain growth hormones could play a role in both height and cancer, or that environmental factors such as childhood nutrition or illness could be a factor.

“One of the major hypotheses was that something was happening early in life that was making your cells more susceptible to cancer and, sort of incidentally, causing you to be tall,” said Leonard Nunney, professor of biology at the University of California Riverside.

But now Nunney says he has crunched the numbers to show it might be down to a simpler matter of size: tall people simply have more cells for something to go wrong in.