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Apparently there is a significantly better chance of suffering a stroke if you live in the south, with Mississippi leading the way. The percentage of people who have strokes in Mississippi is about twice the national average. I did some relief work there after Katrina and I can tell you that the heat and humidity alone can almost kill a Rocky Mountain guy, but apparently that isn’t the reason for the high incidence of strokes.

The study I read cited the usual risk factors for stroke, only in more abundance in the south. Obesity, diet, diabetes and lack of exercise seemed to be the thread that was more common in the south than the country in general.

Now before someone starts screaming at me, remember that I am just the messenger. The same risk factors play heavily into strokes everywhere. They also seem to be common with heart disease and obesity, diet and lack of exercise contribute to type 2 diabetes.

The life insurance underwriting common thread here is a tendency to not take care of yourself. Remember that avoiding risk factors is the best way to good life insurance rates. If you are obese, the life insurance build charts will raise your rates. If you don’t eat right and don’t exercise, your labs are probably going to show abnormalities like high cholesterol. The same combination can result in high blood pressure. Are you detecting a vicious circle here?

Bottom line, do what your mom told you to do, unless she was wrong! Eat right. Exercise. Don’t smoke. Drink in moderation if you drink.

Just a quick commendation of an insurance company that just did something innovative. Genworth Life and Annuity (formerly First Colony) has been picking up part of the cost of having a stroke screening done by a company that travels all over the country doing screenings. They check the carotid arteries. They check for anheurisms and they also check for peripheral vascular disease. More insurance companies should invest in the health of their customers.

This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.