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I have a client who is an internal medicine doctor. It is his opinion that the importance of cholesterol levels and their relevance to potential coronary artery disease are overstated.

This is problematic for him (and his patients) when it comes to acquiring life insurance since his own total cholesterol is 232 and his HDL (good cholesterol) is just 32. His opinion aside, even in the absence of other risk factors, life insurance companies see the cholesterol ratio of 7.25 as being a standard rate class reading.

I asked my client if he had some studies or resources I could use to present his argument and he unfortunately didn’t, noting that his opinion really comes from a compilation of his own patients and their experience. One thing he did cite as significant was a number of patients who had undergone testing to look for potential CAD after their cholesterol numbers showed that they were at risk. It was this testing that led him to the conclusion that there is little or no correlation between high lipids and heart disease.

This has unfortunately not been an opinion that I have found underwriters to share. We, at the moment, are looking at a possible standard plus as his best case approval, and that will be an exception if we get it.

Bottom line. We all take our stands and run our lives based on what we believe in. In a perfect world everyone would share that opinion and if you thought your health and mortality risk was just fine, you would get the best rate from an insurance company. Unfortunately there isn’t a Perfect World Insurance Company out there.