BackgroundMeningiomas are the most common primary central nervous system tumors. Potential risk factors include obesity, height, history of allergy/atopy, and autoimmune diseases, but findings are conflicting. This study sought to assess the role of the different risk factors in the development of meningioma in adolescents/young adults.MethodsThe cohort included 2,035,915 Jewish men and women who had undergone compulsory physical examination between 1967 and 2011, at age 16 to 19 years, prior to and independent of actual military enlistment. To determine the incidence of meningioma, the military database was matched with the Israel National Cancer Registry. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the hazard ratios for meningioma according to sex, body mass index (BMI), height, and history of allergic or autoimmune disease.ResultsA total of 480 subjects (328 females) were diagnosed with meningioma during a follow-up of 40,304,078 person-years. Median age at diagnosis was 42.1 ± 9.4 years (range 17.4–62.6). On univariate analysis, female sex (p < 0.01) and height (p < 0.01) were associated with risk of meningioma. When the data were stratified by sex, height remained a significant factor only in men. Spline analysis of the male subjects showed that a height of 1.62 m was associated with a minimum disease risk and a height of 1.85+ meters, with a significant risk.ConclusionsThis large population study showed that sex and adolescent height in males (> 1.85 m) were associated with an increased risk of meningioma in adulthood.