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How to Cut Your Stroke Risk and Save on Life Insurance
The Heart and Stroke Foundation reports that Strokes are the third leading cause of death in Canada, with 14,000 Canadians dying every year, and of those more are women than men.
The most common type of stroke is an ischemic stroke, which takes place thanks to a blood clot in a vessel supplying blood to the brain. If you manage to survive the stroke's devastating paralyzing effects, recovery is guaranteed to be a tough road.
But the good news is, 80 per cent of all strokes are preventable according to researchers from American universities. All it takes is a few simple lifestyle changes in the form of diet, exercise, BMI, blood pressure, blood sugar level, and cutting out smoking. In addition, your lack of vitamin D, stress levels, grounding, statin drug use, and hormone replacement therapy all play a role.
Luckily, there's "Life's Simple Seven Scale," which was developed by The American Heart Association to help manage some of the lifestyle issues that create the risk factors for stroke. They are the following:
- Get active
- Control your cholesterol
- Eat better
- Manage your blood pressure
- Lose weight
- Reduce your blood sugar
- Stop smoking
Even doing all of these things just a little bit can greatly reduce your risk according to reporting from NPR:
[The] scientists dug into a large study that tracked 30,239 people to see how much improvement it takes to prevent stroke... The good news is it doesn't take much to make a difference.
Each risk factor for stroke was scored from 0 to 2, with 0 being crummy, 1 kind of OK, and 2 terrific. Even a one-point improvement in the total score across all seven factors significantly reduced stroke risk.
Each improvement of a point on the 14-point scale meant an 8 percent reduction in stroke. ‘The neat thing of this finding is that anything makes a difference... If you make a small change, you make an improvement,' Lackland says. 'If you make a bigger change, you make a bigger improvement.’
In addition to getting healthier and reducing your risk, you will also reduce the cost of your life insurance premiums. This is because the healthier you are, the less likely you are to receive a rating on your premiums, which can be between 30 and 50 per cent more with a rating added.
The underwriters will base their ruling on the following criteria:
- Current age
- Date of diagnosis and age of onset
- Current symptoms or extent of neurological deficit
- Cause of stroke
- Number of strokes
- Smoking history
- Whether or not you lead an active lifestyle
- Blood pressure and cholesterol readings
The more you can get these lifestyle factors under control, the more likely you are to qualify without a decline or a rating. However, in the event you do have a stroke, remember that you won't be able to apply for traditional life insurance until 12 months after your last stroke. Multiple strokes usually mean a decline, and the average price rating is between 150 and 200 per cent if you;re approved. Keep in mind that the more recent the stroke and the younger the applicant, the higher the rating.