Diabetes 101 – How to Win at Life and Life Insurance

A recent article from the Hilton Head Health Institute stated, “The evidence is growing that diabetes – especially “late onset” type 2 diabetes – is becoming an epidemic. American’s well-known attachment to the “couch potato” lifestyle – fatty, high calorie foods and an aversion to exercise – may be the contributing factor to the spread of the disease. On the opposite side of the coin, the healthy lifestyle is believed to contribute to diabetes prevention and management.” A January 9, 2006 New York Times article declared, “that the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 21 million Americans are currently diabetic while 41 million more are suffering from pre-diabetic symptoms, and many aren’t even aware of it yet. Over the past decade, the rate of diabetes has increased 80% in the US. Yet most health officials still emphasize the threat of communicable diseases, which are far less deadly than chronic conditions such as diabetes.”

Any life insurance agent that has been around for suganorm diabet very long will attest to the statements made in that article. Diabetics now make up a large percentage of our client base and the number of people diagnosed as diabetic or pre or borderline diabetic on life insurance exams has sky rocketed. While most diabetics are insurable at fair rates, it is alarming to see how many diabetics have truly stayed somewhat uneducated about their condition and do not fully comprehend or care about the fact that diabetes can have a compounding effect on other health issues and ultimately be at least the root cause of a health decline that leads to an early death. Those diabetics who do take the situation seriously, educating themselves, monitoring their diabetes and taking control of other risk factors such as hypertension and obesity, can ultimately lead a long, healthy life. Not surprising that this group is also rewarded with life insurance rates that reflect their concern with their own longevity. It should be no secret that life insurance companies reward those who have an interest in their own mortality.

Those that do not take care of themselves are usually still insurable, but will pay a premium that reflects the end of the risk pool they have chosen to swim in. Not understanding the disease, not monitoring your glucose on a regular basis, not changing your lifestyle and not being compliant with your physician’s suggestions will all contribute to higher rates that you really have to pay if your concern factor was a bit higher. Good quiz for a diabetic: Do you know what your hbA1C, or A1C level is? Do you even know what it is referring to? The A1C, a test done by your physician every time you have a checkup is a measure of how well you are controlling your diabetes. Blood glucose binds to the hemoglobin through a process called glycosylation. The higher the blood sugar the more the glucose binds to the hemoglobin. A blood test can measure the amount of glycosylation that has occurred revealing the average blood glucose levels for the previous three to four months before the test.

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