HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE & LIFE INSURANCE ~ UNDERWRITING ISSUES
Life Insurance for people with Blood Pressure problems
If you have a history of raised blood pressure, a broker may still be able to help you obtain life or critical illness insurance - although maybe not onto standard terms. There are some critical factors involved that will determine your ability to obtain coverage & your information is always treated with the utmost privacy by the insurer or broker.
Life Insurance ~ What is Blood Pressure ?
The heart is a muscle that is designed to pump a constant supply of blood around the body. The heart pumps blood that is low in oxygen towards the lungs, where it will receive more oxygen. The heart also pumps oxygen-rich blood around the body so that oxygen can be used by the muscles and the cells in your body.
There are 2 measurements used to assess blood pressure:
Systolic pressure is the blood pressure that is exerted when the heart beats and forces blood around the body. Diastolic pressure is the measure of blood pressure when the heart is resting between beats. Blood pressure is defined as the amount of pressure exerted on the walls of the arteries as the blood moves through them. It is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Both the systolic and diastolic pressures are measured, and these figures are usually represented with the systolic pressure first, followed by the diastolic pressure.
So if a GP says that your blood pressure is '120 over 80', or 120/80mmHg, what they mean is that you have a systolic pressure of 120mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80mmHg.
Life Insurance Cover ~ What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) ?
High blood pressure (hypertension) is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above. High blood pressure often causes no symptoms or immediate problems, but it is a major risk factor for developing a serious cardiovascular disease (conditions that can affect the circulation of blood around the body), such as a stroke or heart disease.
If you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body. Over time, this can weaken it. Also, the increased pressure can damage the walls of your arteries, which can result in a blockage or cause the artery to split (haemorrhage). Both of these situations can cause a stroke.
Life Insurance ~ Who is affected by High Blood Pressure ?
The number of people who have high blood pressure increases with age. Health studies say for reasons that are not entirely understood, people of Afro-Caribbean and South Asian (India, Pakistan and Bangladeshi) origins are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other ethnic groups.
In a large number of cases, there is no single identifiable reason for a raise in blood pressure. High blood pressure can be treated or prevented by making changes to your lifestyle, such as exercising more regularly, eating a healthier diet and cutting back on your consumption of alcohol. Medicines are also available that can help lower your blood pressure. However, all available evidence shows that your lifestyle plays a significant role in regulating your blood pressure.
Risk factors for high blood pressure may include: Age, Smoking, Excessive alcohol consumption, Poor diet, Lack of exercise & Obesity.
Life Insurance & Blood Pressure Medication
There are five main classes of medicines that are used to lower blood pressure. There are various types and brands of medicine in each class. The following gives a brief overview of each of the classes. However, for detailed information about your own medication you should read the leaflet that comes inside the medicines packet.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
These medicines work by reducing the amount of a chemical that you make in your bloodstream, called angiotensin II. There are various types and brands of ACE inhibitors. For example, captopril, cilazapril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, perindopril, quinapril, ramipril, and trandolapril.
Angiotensin receptor blockers
These medicines are sometimes called angiotensin-II receptor antagonists. There are various types and brands. For example, candesartan, eprosartan, irbesartan, losartan, olmesartan, telmisartan and valsartan.
These medicines affect the way calcium is used in the blood vessels and heart muscle. This has a relaxing effect on the blood vessels. Again, there are various types and brands. For example, amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, isradipine, lacidipine, lercanidipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, nisoldipine, and verapamil. Calcium-channel blockers can also be used to treat angina.
Diuretics (water tablets)
Diuretics work by increasing the amount of salt and fluid that you pass out in your urine. This has some effect on reducing the fluid in the circulation, which reduces blood pressure. They may also have a relaxing effect on the blood vessels, which reduces the pressure within the blood vessels. The most commonly used diuretics to treat high blood pressure in the UK are thiazides or thiazide-like diuretics. Examples are bendroflumethiazide, chlorothiazide, chlortalidone, cyclopenthiazide, hydrochlorothiazide and indapamide.
Again, there are various types and brands. For example, acebutolol, atenolol, bisoprolol, metoprolol, oxprenolol, pindolol, propranolol, sotalol, and timolol.
High Blood Pressure & Life Insurance Underwriting
In order to check the control of your Blood Pressure, Insurers will ask you various questions and if severe are likely to request a GP or Medical Report. Note non-disclosure of your actual true Asthma control, may make any plan claim void & the insurer is not obliged on death or illness for the life insurance payout or to refund any premiums paid if this was deliberately not disclosed.
What do Uk Life Insurance Companies look for - when Underwriting a History of Raised Blood Pressure ?
It would depend on the control of your Blood Pressure. For Life & Critical lllness Cover most insurers would view each case on an individual basis before making a decision. However the likely decision for cover is normal rates if your Blood Pressure is under good control to maybe a substantial premium rating if not. Note that decisions may vary quite dramatically between insurers so please contact us for help & advice.
History - How long have you had Blood Pressure problems & how does this affect you day to day? What are you historic Blood Pressure readings.
Medical Records - What do your medical records say about you? Have you developed medical problems as a result of Blood Pressure eg; taken into hospital, raised cholesterol etc; ? If you have already developed associated problems as a result of Blood Pressure, many companies may probably rate your premiums or in the worst decline the case.
Treatment - What type of Blood Pressure medication do you take - is it under control now ?
Family History - Do you parents or brothers or sisters have a history of Blood Pressure problems also?
For help with Blood Pressure issues why not visit www.heartforum.org.uk or www.bpassoc.org.uk *
( * Note: You are now leaving the regulated site of Uk Life Insurance Quotes. Neither ourselves, nor Sesame Ltd, is responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the linked site.)
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