Sometimes I get the sense that doctors are very careful about making their patients uneasy for fear they will run off and get a second opinion and forget to pay for the first one.

I have a client who had an echocardiogram last year and one of the results that was noted was an ejection fraction, more accurately a left ventricular ejection fraction of 45-50%. The LVEF is a measure of how effectively your heart muscle empties the left ventricle. While it is never 100% which would kind of leave your left ventricle gasping for blood, the average for men is generally considered to be 63-77% and women 55-75%.

From a life insurance underwriting standpoint I have rarely seen a company accept for approval any ejection fraction below 50%, a number that is considered low normal by most cardiologists. While, in the absence of other risk factors, a cardiologist might be comfortable telling their patient that they are fine with the test results, that same cardiologist is not paid to discuss mortality risk.

Bottom line. I guess doctors, no matter if they are a GP or a cardiologist, really can’t be all things to their patients. As much as I wish they wouldn’t put such a positive spin on something that is going to be declined by a life insurance underwriter, it probably won’t really register with them unless they get to go through the experience first hand.

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