A drug, which slows down the heart rate that has just been approved by European regulators, may save 10,000 lives a year.
Heart disease is Britain’s biggest killer. Just under 1 million (900,000) are treated in hospital for heart failure in the UK. The new drug, ivabradine also known as Procoralan, which costs only £1.40 could reduce death from all types of cardiovascular disease by 17 per cent. In a rare bit of good news for the NHS also, it is believed the drug will reduce the number of patients requiring treatment for heart failure by nearly a third (30 per cent).
Heart failure occurs when the heart becomes too weak to pump blood efficiently around the body. This leads to fatigue, breathlessness and a higher heart rate and other problems.
Ivabradine will not replace Ace inhibitors and beta-blockers but its role of slowing the heart rate will improve symptoms and prevent disease progression. Professor Martin Cowie, a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brampton Hospital said “it will help patients return to normal daily activities and increase their enjoyment of life”.
The Life Dept says: if it’s Britains biggest killer you’ll hardly be surprised to find out that life insurance and critical illness companies are hot on heart disease and health issues related to heart disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. There is no definitive position that can be offered as the insurance company will assess many factors to establish risk. Factors such as age, cholestrol, blood pressure, the type of problem, any treatment received, when the problem was identified, etc. Life insurance companies ask the question during the application process ‘have you been to the doctors in the last 5 years?’ and if the answer is in the affirmative (and most people have been to a doctors within five years) subsequent questions will determine the cause of the visit/s and the diagnosis and treatment if there was some.
Different life insurance companies and providers of critical illness cover and income protection (long term sickness and accident) cover have different policies and attitude to risk and this is why for a complex form of insurance like this it is still best to speak to an advisor. Experienced advisors become familar with which insurance companies will accept clients with heart conditions and those that are particularly cautious. In addition, advisors develop a good understanding of what insurance companies will provide insurance at standard rate and which ones will ‘rate’ the premium i.e. load it.
For those of you that are interested we did run a story last year saying that a high salt diet significantly reduces your risk of heart attack. See High Salt Diet is Good for You. Mind you, if you suffer from high blood pressure extra salt is NOT a good thing!
Written exclusively for THE LIFE insurance DEPT | 6 Mar 2012 | providers of life insurance, critical illness insurance and income protection cover.
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