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Medical Management News

Linking Obesity and Advanced Breast Cancer

A recent blog post on the Department of Health and Human Services' HHS HealthBeat details the dangerous link between obesity and certain types of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer is more aggressive and less responsive to treatment than other forms, and obese women have a significantly higher risk of developing it. The blog was based on a study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which examined data on more than 155,700 women.

The research also found that obese women also have a 35 percent increased risk of a more common, but less aggressive, form of breast cancer known as estrogen receptor-positive.

Another study indicates that postmenopausal women who smoke have a higher risk of breast cancer. At West Virginia University, Juhua Luo and colleagues looked at more than 10 years of data on close to 80,000 women ages 50 to 79 in the Women's Health Initiative, according to Ira Dreyfuss' blog on HHS Healthbeat.

"The more women smoked, and the longer they smoked, and the earlier they started smoking, the higher the risk," the study notes. Dr. Luo says the risk fell in women who quit smoking, but it takes up to 20 years to go back to that of a nonsmoker. She says it's another reason for women not to smoke, or to quit smoking if they smoke currently.

The study in the journal BMJ was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

For more information, visit http://www.hhs.gov/news/healthbeat/2011/03/20110328a.html.


One Simple Way to Combat Diabetes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 25.8 million Americans suffer from diabetes, while 79 million more experience pre-diabetes, a disease which can easily develop into type 2 diabetes.

While many think of altering their diets and undergoing insulin treatment as standard ways to fight the disease, Ira Dreyfuss from HHS HealthBeat says exercise is the key. In fact, being inactive can greatly increase both the risk of developing diabetes and the severity of it, while losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight and getting 150 minutes of exercise per week can greatly help in fighting the disease, Dreyfuss said.

To read Ira's blog, visit http://www.hhs.gov/news/healthbeat/2011/03/20110311a.html.


Studies Reveal Wellness Programs Cut Costs

Recent research by Vitality Group show that company-sponsored wellness programs and health incentives often lead to lower healthcare costs.

Specifically, the research indicates that implementing a corporate health and wellness program results in an average 28 percent reduction in work absence due to illness, a 26 percent reduction in health costs, and a 30 percent drop in workers' compensation and disability claims costs. According to risk management firm Aon Hewitt, "Every $1 spent on an employer-based wellness program can generate $3 to $6 return on investment, usually two or more years after investment."

To view the full article, please visit http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/archives/2011/06/how-wellness-incentives-can-help-reduce-business-healthcare-costs.html.

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