I have often discussed type 2 diabetes and the complication of developing high blood pressure along with it. The two, from a life insurance underwriting standpoint, are not a good mix.

Now comes a very extensive study that shows a distinct link between women who have increasing or high blood pressure, having a substantially higher risk of developing diabetes. A large study, 38,000 women over 11 years, shows fairly definitively that women with normal blood pressure develop diabetes at about one quarter of the rate of those with high blood pressure and one third of the rate of women whose blood pressure was elevating.

The fascinating side note in this study, for me, was that the same figures held true no matter what the women’s build was. Whether normal, overweight, or obese, the ratios came out the same, so the numbers are not skewed because of one of the primary causes of type 2 diabetes, obesity.

While I doubt this will change life insurance underwriting of high blood pressure, it certainly gives ample reason for women with hypertension to be tested for any change in glucose levels on at least an annual basis.

Bottom line. The more we look at the effect that one system has on another in the body, the more it becomes apparent that if you let one part slide, you are putting yourself at risk of inviting more problems to the party than you expected.