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The Rising Costs of Obesity, Cancer's Link to Stress and Women and Nicotine

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The Rising Costs of Obesity, Cancer's Link to Stress and Women and Nicotine
The Rising Costs of Obesity, Cancer's Link to Stress and Women and Nicotine
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The cost of obesity is growing, one study shows a link between stress and breast cancer, and women's brains respond differently to nicotine than others.

Hi, I’m Michelle King Robson with EmpowHER’s HER Week in Health.
We know about the health risks associated with an expanding waistline; now we know the cost and the price tag is much higher than we thought.

According to a new Reuters Report, the cost of providing health care for the 34 percent of Americans considered obese has doubled to $190 billion a year.

Individually, that breaks down to a moderately overweight person paying $1,850 more per year than someone at a healthy weight.

But that number jumps to more than $3,000 more per year for those with a body mass index of 35 to 40 and $5,500 more per year for those with a BMI above 40.
To put these numbers in perspective, a smoker pays just over $1,200 more per year in healthcare costs versus a non-smoker.

Just some more reasons to get that extra weight.

We know stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, but an alarming new study suggests that stress may also play a role in breast cancer.

Researchers say they have found evidence linking stress and aggressive tumors.
Results from the study were presented last September at the Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities.

Among the findings, Black and Hispanic breast cancer patients showed higher level of stress than white patients. And pathologists found cancer cells to be more aggressive within these women.

Researchers also found that the women who showed higher levels of stress had more aggressive forms of cancer. Now, we should point out, this study did not measure stress levels before these women were diagnosed with cancer, so pre- and post-cancer stress levels cannot be compared.

A new study suggests that here may be a scientific explanation why quitting smoking may be harder for women than men. Researchers now say that is because women’s brains respond differently to nicotine.

When a person smokes, the number of nicotine receptors in the brain are thought to increase, reinforcing the habit of smoking. The study shows this is true for men, but not for women.

Scientists say women smokers and non-smokers seem to have about the same number of nicotine receptors. Scientists cannot pinpoint exactly why there is this difference in men and women, but say it could be connected to the hormone, progesterone.

The study suggests women trying to quit smoking may be better off with a non-nicotine related treatment.

I’m Michelle King Robson. Check back with us again right here at EmpowHER.com every Friday for another edition of EmpowHER’s HER Week in Health.

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