Prostate cancer may be three times more prevalent in people with long ring fingers, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A study of 366 men over the age of 40 found that those whose ring finger was significantly longer than their pointer finger on their right hand had a greater chance of developing prostate cancer than those whose fingers were a similar length.
Doctors from Gachon University Gil Hospital, in Incheon, South Korea, studied the men, who were hospital patients having problems urinating, which is a warning sign of prostate cancer. Those with ring fingers longer than their pointer fingers were found to have double the normal amount of the chemical, prostate specific antigen (PSA), in their blood test. High levels of the chemical is sometimes found in blood when cancer is present.
These men were also three times as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
It is believed that higher exposure to testosterone while in the womb causes a longer ring finger.
Other research has touted the benefits of having a long ring finger, including a reduced risk of heart disease and increased fertility.
“Finger length ratios have been linked to all sorts of things before with little evidence that measuring these ratios will ever actually be useful,” said Ed Yong, head of health information for Cancer Research U.K. “For example, this very small study finds an association between finger length ratio and prostate cancer risk, but tells us nothing about whether the ratio can be used to reliably predict that risk.”
Prostate cancer affects more than 30,000 men annually.