• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Dwarfism may help protect against cancer

February 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The same genetic mutation that keeps people from growing to a normal adult height could also protect them from cancer and diabetes.

A study of nearly 100 Ecuadorians, all 4 feet or shorter, found they had much lower rates of those diseases.

During the 22-year study only one person got cancer, and after being treated, she stayed cancer-free.

A doctor who had been working in Ecuador started the study after noticing that his shortest patients also seemed to be the healthiest ones.