For a long time in the medical and life insurance communities there has been a definition of when someone has diabetes as opposed to being pre-diabetic. The problem has been that doctors had clear courses of action they could take when confronted with a diagnosis of diabetes, but the whole idea of pre-diabetes has never been clearly defined and there has really never been any clear direction about what should be done about it.
Now the diabetes docs, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, have come up with guidelines
for both diagnosing and treating pre-diabetes. This can have huge implications as virtually everyone is pre before they are, and in essence what they are talking about is a plan to keep more millions of people from being added to the type 2 diabetes epidemic.
The whole idea from the diabetes docs is that really anyone that sees a doctor on a regular basis should find out that diabetes is in their future in time to keep it from coming to fruition. Little (or big) clues like being treated for high blood pressure and having “a big waist circumference” (code for obesity). If a persons labs show too little HDL, bad cholesterol or triglycerides that are too high.
At that juncture, in combination with high, but not quite diabetic, glucose levels the docs agreed that it’s time to have a serious talk with patients. Most agreed that in the pre stage of things medical intervention in the form of diabetes medication should not be the first line of attack. This is the point where they need to talk serious lifestyle change and put the fear of full blown diabetes and all of the collateral health issues into the train of thought.
If you think about it, no one in their right mind that knows that they will become diabetic if they don’t make some changes is going to ignore the warning. I know there is a large membership in the You Just Can’t Fix Stupid Club, but most of those are guys and maybe the endocrinologists could at least save a large percentage of women from suffering what they don’t need to.
It will be interesting to see how life insurance companies will treat this situation. Up until now being pre diabetic wasn’t an issue because in their mind you either are or you aren’t. But if people’s medical records clearly show that they are being treated, even if it’s only lifestyle counseling and monitoring, I suspect some companies will reward pro activity with higher rates. One company, Banner, has already stated that they will still offer best rate classes to someone who is actively addressing pre-diabetes. That’s the kind of reaction we should see and a good independent agent will be able to seek out those companies for you.
Bottom line. With the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in our country growing more rampant by the day, it’s good to see a more proactive approach.