Well, just when life insurance underwriters and doctors think they’re on the same page, and they believe it’s the right page, someone kicks the door down and throws a wrench in their thinking.
In search of a way to control diabetes, and specifically type 2 diabetes, the goal has alway been lower glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association has indicated for years that those with diabetes should strive to get their blood sugar as close to normal as possible. They advocate an hbA1c of under 7. Insurance companies have suggested by way of their rate class underwriting that real control is demonstrated with A1c’s under 6.5 and preferably under 6.
The belief has always been that lower glucose levels lessen the risk of heart disease. Now a major federal study has been partially halted because just the opposite result is occurring. The incidence of onset of heart disease was significantly higher in those who were physically and medically pushed to keep the blood sugar at near non-diabetic levels than in those who were steered toward a more moderate control.
This news has doctors and scientists scrambling to try to determine how they could have had it so wrong.
Bottom line. It’s not likely you will see a shift in life insurance underwriting unless further studies come to the same conclusion. Better than standard rates will still take an hbA1c below 6.5, onset after age 50 and all other risk factors in control.