According to the American Diabetes Association website, www.diabetes.org, the numbers of those with diabetes are growing by leaps. “There are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease.”

The majority of those are type 2 diabetic, also called adult onset diabetes. I suspect that the adult onset title will be dropped before long as more and more children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. While diabetics with good control of their diabetes and associated health issues don’t have a big problem finding affordable life insurance, it does take the assistance of an independent life insurance agent with experience in the area. It is the long term complications of diabetes that causes concern with life insurance underwriters. Diabetes alone is a major health problem. The worrisome factor is that it can lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, kidney disease, nueropathy and a host of other issues, with each compounding on the other. There are questions that need to be asked and not unlike most health issues in our society we are running into the same old problem, lack of communication and education.

Leaving life insurance aside for a moment, let’s talk about who really ought to be communicating about diabetes and how it happens. The risk factors are pervasive and obvious in our society and they beg discussion between doctors and patients, parents and children, husbands and wives. When a risk factor, and certainly when multiple risk factors are present, someone needs to step forward and take the lead in discussing and at least testing for diabetes.

Again, the American Diabetes Association from www.diabetes.org has helped us out with a quick test. It’s not meant to medically diagnose anything, but rather to open our eyes and help us to see a potential problem coming.”

To find out if you are at risk, write in the points next to each statement that is true for you. If a statement is not true, write a zero. Then add all the points to get your total score.

Yes No
1. My weight is equal to or above that listed in the chart below? 5pts 0pts
2. I am under 65 years of age and I get little or no exercise during a usual day? 5pts 0pts
3. I am between 45 and 64 years of age? 5pts 0pts
4. I am 65 years old or older? 9pts 0pts
5. I am a woman who has had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth? 1pts 0pts
6. I have a sister or brother with diabetes? 1pts 0pts
7. I have a parent with diabetes? 1pts 0pts
Total Points: _______

Scoring 3-9 points
You are probably at low risk for having diabetes now. But don’t just forget about it — especially if you are Hispanic/Latino, African American, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander. You may be at higher risk in the future.

Scoring 10 or more points
You are at greater risk for having diabetes. Only your health care provider can determine if you have diabetes. At your next office visit, find out for sure.

At-Risk Weight Chart Body Mass Index


Height in feet and inches without shoes Weight in pounds without clothing
4’10” 129
4’11” 133
5’0″ 138
5’1″ 143
5’2″ 147
5’3″ 152
5’4″ 157
5’5″ 162
5’6″ 167
5’7″ 172
5’8″ 177
5’9″ 182
5’10” 188
5’11” 193
6’0″ 199
6’1″ 204
6’2″ 210
6’3″ 216
6’4″ 221

If you weigh the same or more than the amount listed for your height, you may be at risk for diabetes.”

Remember, no medical diagnosis is being offered here. There are plenty of people that are 5’10” and weigh 188 or more that don’t have and will never have diabetes. Start figuring in the other risk factors and the picture becomes a little clearer. The risk is there and the risk is real.

The good news from a life insurance standpoint is that inexpensive life insurance is there for those who stay aware of their health. When risk factors become apparent, talk to someone. Talk to your spouse. Talk to your child. Talk to your doctor. Talk to a friend or a business associate. Talk to someone who can get you over the hump of actually having it checked out. The cost in dollars and the cost in wear and tear on your body is much lower when you are diagnosed early. The peace of mind when you find out you don’t have diabetes is tremendous. It’s a second chance to work on all of those risk factors and avoid the disease altogether.

We just need to start talking about these things. The problem isn’t that there might be a problem. The problem is that we might ignore the potential in ourselves or someone we know and love.

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.

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