Cholesterol Impacts Insurance Eligibility

| January 11, 2013

I had an email from a journalist friend of mine this week, which included a communication he’d had from a reader. Basically, the reader had been refused health insurance on the basis of his ‘raised’ cholesterol. It was suggested that he take statins to lower his cholesterol level and this would make him eligible for insurance. He was concerned, though, that the risks of taking statins may well outweigh any possible benefits and that, in effect, he was being forced to take “poison” (his words) if he wanted to get insured.

I have to say, I have enormous sympathy for this man’s plight. I do not know his age or medical history, but the likelihood is that he falls into what is known as the ‘primary prevention’ category. This means he has no history of prior ‘cardiovascular’ disease or events such as a heart attack or stroke.

The majority of people who take statins fall into this category, and even quite conventionally-minded researchers have started to ask questions about the appropriateness of statins in this group. It is a plain and simple fact that while statin use has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, their ability to do this is extremely limited. Studies show that around 1 or 2 in every 100 men treated with statins will be spared a heart attack. Let’s put that another way: 98-99 per cent of men will not benefit in terms of heart attack prevention.

As I pointed out in a recent blog post, the risk of significant side-effects from statins is high. They increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, muscle pain, fatigue, mental symptoms, liver damage and kidney damage. Last week, my blog highlighted the idea that statins may also be contributing to weakening of the heart muscle, known as ‘heart failure’ or ‘congestive cardiac failure’.

Cholesterol ‘control’ have no place in health insurance

So, the man featured above is perhaps justified in his scepticism of statins: the chances are his health would, overall, be harmed (not helped) by taking statins. Yet, if he were to take them and see a subsequent reduction in his cholesterol, he would apparently be eligible for health insurance.

This, to me, seems an utterly mad situation. Insurance companies generally do what they can to reduce their ‘exposure’, refusing to insure people who they believe represent a high risk of future health problems. However, they seem keener to insure someone who takes a drug that gets their cholesterol ‘under control’, even though this drug is more likely to impair their health than help it.

This sort of situation can arise when insurance companies are convinced that cholesterol levels are a major arbiter of health (they are not). Lowered cholesterol does not assure improved health or health risks over time, but the common thought is that it does.

A similar situation seems to exist with regards to life insurance. I was recently talking with a business executive who told me his life insurance premium had tripled on the basis of him turning up a ‘raised’ cholesterol level. He was informed that if he got his cholesterol level down, his premium would fall too.

The suggestion here, of course, is that by taking statins and reducing cholesterol, this man would be less likely to die. However, in the primary prevention category, statins do not reduce overall risk of death. Insurance company policy seems out of step here with what the evidence tells us.

The people who establish such policies and calculate insurance premiums are usually actuaries. Somehow, it seems, they have been encouraged to buy into conventional wisdom and perhaps not look at the facts with truly objective eyes.

However, it seems not all actuaries are similarly blinded. Back in 2011 the trade magazine The Actuary carried a piece from an actuary, which deftly disassembled the cholesterol theory. Let’s hope that more professionals in the insurance industry catch on.

Here’s to a healthy heart

Dr John Briffa
Editor
for The Cholesterol Truth



If you enjoyed this content or found it useful and educational, please share this article with your friends and family.



Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


 

Print Friendly

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Latest Cholesterol Research

Comments are closed.

Don't Forget Your Free Blood Pressure Report...

Just RSVP below for immediate access to this valuable report, with our sincere compliments.

As you'll discover in your FREE report, there are safe, natural ways to protect your heart without the use of risky, side-effect-ridden drugs.

And that's not all. When you enter your email address, you'll also receive the Daily Health e-letter. Each day in the Daily Health, you'll get:

• News on the latest cutting-edge natural health breakthroughs.
• The truth behind mainstream health headlines
• First access to new product releases
• And much, much more!

Enter your email address below to receive your FREE report, 10 Drug-Free Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure and Protect Against a Heart Attack or Stroke. We'll deliver it straight to your inbox in a matter of minutes.

10 Drug-Free Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure and Protect Against a Heart Attack or Stroke

Just RSVP below for immediate access to this valuable report, with our sincere compliments.

As you'll discover in your FREE report, there are safe, natural ways to protect your heart without the use of risky, side-effect-ridden drugs.

And that's not all. When you enter your email address, you'll also receive the Daily Health e-letter. Each day in the Daily Health, you'll get:

• News on the latest cutting-edge natural health breakthroughs.
• The truth behind mainstream health headlines
• First access to new product releases
• And much, much more!

Enter your email address below to receive your FREE report, 10 Drug-Free Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure and Protect Against a Heart Attack or Stroke. We'll deliver it straight to your inbox in a matter of minutes.