Posts Tagged ‘health’

Critical Illness Insurance Claims Often Begin Prior To Age 55

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Just under half (47%) of new critical illness insurance claims in 2011 began prior to age 55 according to the 2012 Buyer & Claimant Study conducted by the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance (AACII) and General Re Life Corporation.  This marks a significant increase in claims by younger policyholders compared to the prior year’s analysis.

The percentage of claims that occurred before age 45 grew compared to 2010.  Some 13 percent of male policyholders and 12 percent of female policyholders who received benefits were younger than 45 according to the data from 10 leading critical illness insurers.  “The increase in younger claimants is likely due to an increase in younger buyers of this relatively new form of insurance coverage,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the recently formed critical illness insurance trade group.  “With higher health insurance deductibles and more restrictive plans, critical illness insurance is starting to gain traction among buyers in their 30s and 40s.”
The study found a pronounced year-to-year increase in the number of claims paid to policyholders between ages 35 and 44.  Some 8 percent of new claims by men and 10 percent women occurred at these ages in 2011, versus four percent reported by the prior year’s study.   The greatest decline in claims occurred after age 55.

The study revealed that cancer remains the leading cause for new individual claims accounting for 61 percent of new claims.  Heart attacks accounted for 11 percent and stroke for 18 percent of new claims.

Researchers analyzed data for over 57,000 purchasers of individual critical illness insurance policies as well as claims reported by leading insurers for the time period January 1 to December 31, 2011. The American Association for Critical Illness Insurance is the national trade association providing information to consumers and insurance professionals.  Free access to the organization’s online learning, marketing and sales center is offered to insurance and financial professionals.  For further information, visit the Website:  www.aacii.org/ or call (818) 597-3205.

Women Diagnosed With Cancer Are Less Likely To Die

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Women diagnosed with cancer are less likely to die from the disease than men.  Experts acknowledge that the higher rate for men is due to a higher initial risk and later detection. 

According to research reported by the National Cancer Institute he highest male-to-female mortality rate ratios for cancers are lip cancer, where 5.5 men died for each woman patient, and esophageal, where 4 men died for each woman patient. 

The study examined over 30 different types of cancer examining data from 1977 to 2006.  When examining lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women, the scientists report 2.3 male deaths for each female death. 

“Men are more at risk of developing cancer to begin with,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance, the national trade organization.  “The average lifetime chance that a man will develop lung cancer is about 1 in 13, compared to 1 in 16 for a woman.” 

Researchers noted that men are more likely to have advanced disease conditions by the time their cancer is diagnosed.  They noted that 28 percent of men do not visit the doctor regularly.

“Cancer is one of the leading critical illnesses impacting men along with heart disease,” Slome explains.  There were 1.5 million new cancer diagnosis  in the United States according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org report.  “Today cancer is survivable but  medical expenses are now a leading cause of financial bankruptcy,” Slome adds.  “Even the best insurance policies no longer cover every cost associated with treating cancers and families face huge expenses.” 

Individuals interested in receiving a cost quote for critical illness insurance from a designated American Association for Critical Illness Insurance professional can complete the organization’s free quote request

form accessible at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org or obtain information by calling the Association’s offices.

Eat Extra Servings Of Fish Linked To Reduce Stroke Risk

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Adults who eat fish several times each week are slightly less likely to suffer a stroke.  The findings of a new study report the lowered risk compared to those who only eat a little or no fish at all. 

Researchers analyzed over a dozen studies.  Each study asked people how frequently they ate fish, then followed them for between four and 30 years to see who suffered a stroke. 

Fatty fish such as salmon and herring are especially high in omega-3s. The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fatty fish in particular each week. 

Some 600,000 Americans will suffer their first stroke this year according to annual data published by the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance.  “Stroke impacts the health of millions and results in both medical and long term care expenses,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the national trade groups.

Fish provides a beneficial package of nutrients, in particular the omega-3s, that explains the lower risk explains a Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist whose research was included in the analysis. 

Smoking, drinking, being overweight and having high blood pressure and cholesterol are all linked to a higher risk of stroke.  Dr. Susanna Larsson and Dr. Nicola Orsini of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden wrote in the journal Stroke that omega-3 fatty acids in fish might lower stroke risk through their positive effects on blood pressure and cholesterol.

Vitamin D, selenium and certain types of proteins in fish may also have stroke-related benefits, the researchers added.  Data for the analysis came from close to 400,000 people age 30 to 103. The studies were done in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China. 

Eating three extra servings of fish each week was linked to a six-percent drop in stroke risk, Slome noted after reviewing the study.  That translates to one fewer stroke among a hundred people eating extra fish over a lifetime.  And the people in each study who ate the most fish were 12 percent less likely to have a stroke that those that ate the least. 

Fatty fish such as salmon and herring are especially high in omega-3s. The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fatty fish in particular each week. 

Individuals interested in receiving a cost quote for critical illness insurance from a designated American Association for Critical Illness Insurance professional can complete the organization’s free quote request form accessible at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org/free-quote/ or by calling the Association’s offices.

Those interested in learning more about long term care insurance cost can contact the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance or by calling the Association’s offices at 818-597-3227.

New Technology Could Identify Prostate Cancer In Body Fluids

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Researchers have developed a breakthrough technology that can be used to discriminate cancerous prostate cells in bodily fluids. 

The scientists note that the new technology is years away from use in a clinical setting.  However, they note that the knowledge will be useful in developing a micro device to further enable understanding when prostate cancer will metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body.

“Prostate cancer is one of the leading critical illnesses impacting men,” according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance and the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance http://www.aaltci.org. “We applaud the significant findings from the U.C. Santa Barbara researchers which could be most helpful for diagnosis and follow-ups during treatment of this disease.” 

Cancer cells found in the blood are thought to be the initiators of metastasis.  Although the primary tumor does not kill prostate cancer patients, metastasis does.   The researchers noted that, “there is a big focus on understanding what causes the tumor to shed cells into the blood. If you could catch them all, then you could stop metastasis. The first thing is to monitor their appearance.” 

The breakthrough made by the researchers is in being able to include more markers in order to identify and study unique tumor cells that are different from the main tumor cells. 

There were 1.5 million new cancer diagnosis  in the United States according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org which tracks health news related to cancer and heart disease. 

Individuals interested in receiving a cost quote for critical illness insurance from a designated American Association for Critical Illness Insurance professional can complete the organization’s free quote request form accessible at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org/free-quote/ or by calling the Association’s offices.

Critical Illness Insurance Group Comments On Decline In Lung Cancer Rates

Friday, September 16th, 2011

New lung cancer cases declined among men in 35 states and among women in six states.

According to new research the decline represents the time period between 1999 and 2008. Among women, lung cancer incidence decreased nationwide between 2006 and 2008, after increasing steadily for decades. 

The decrease in lung cancer cases corresponds closely with smoking patterns across the nation according to the report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the West, where smoking prevalence is lower among men and women than in other regions, lung cancer incidence is decreasing faster the CDC noted.  Studies show declines in lung cancer rates can be seen as soon as five years after smoking rates decline.

“The report revealed that states spending funds on effective tobacco control strategies are seeing larger reductions in smoking,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance, an industry trade group.  “The longer they invest, the greater the savings in smoking–related health care costs.” 

“Although lung cancer among men and women has decreased over the past few years,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “too many people continue to get sick and die from lung cancers, most of which are caused by smoking.  The more we invest in proven tobacco control efforts, the fewer people will die from lung cancer.” 

Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke cause most lung cancer deaths in the United States.

“Smokers pay significantly more for critical illness insurance because they are at far greater risk of getting cancer,” according to Slome.  “But, without this protection many families will face bankruptcy as a result of uncovered medical and health expenses as well as lost wages while they undergo treatment.” 

From 1999 to 2008 lung cancer rates among men decreased in 35 states and remained stable in nine states.   States with the lowest lung cancer incidence among men were clustered in the West.

After increasing for years, lung cancer rates among women decreased nationwide between 2006 and 2008.

Lung cancer rates decreased between 1999 and 2008 among women in California, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. 

Lung cancer rates among women remained stable in 24 states, and increased slightly in 14 states (change could not be assessed in six states and the District of Columbia).

There were 1.5 million new cancer diagnosis  in the United States according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org which tracks health news related to cancer and heart disease.

Individuals interested in receiving a cost quote for critical illness insurance from a designated American Association for Critical Illness Insurance professional can complete the organization’s free quote request form accessible at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org/free-quote/ or by calling the Association’s offices.

Cancer Patients Benefit From New Lifespan Predictor

Monday, August 29th, 2011

A new scoring system will predict more whether patients with advanced cancers are now likely to survive for days, weeks or months.

According to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance, cancer is treatable and millions survive a cancer diagnosis as a result of improvements in medical care and medicines.  The new study that was published online in the British Medical Journal found that patients with advanced cancer often wish to know how long they have left to live. 

The information is also important for clinicians, the study authors pointed out.  The ability to know a more certain date can help them plan appropriate care. Clinician predictions of survival are the mainstay of current practice, but are unreliable, over-optimistic and subjective.

The researchers at St George’s, University of London set out to develop a scoring system for use in patients with advanced cancer in different care settings that was as good, or better, than clinicians’ best predictions.

The study involved over one thousand patients with advanced incurable cancer who were no longer receiving treatment.  These individuals had been recently referred to palliative care services.

Using a combination of clinical and laboratory variables known to predict survival, the team created two prognostic scores to predict whether patients were likely to survive for 0-13 days, 14-55 days or more than 55 days.  They would compare with actual survival and clinicians’ predictions.

The scientists took into account external factors that could have affected the results, such as age, gender, ethnicity, diagnosis, and extent of disease.   According to medical experts, this is the first study to benchmark a prognostic scoring system against current best practice.

There were 1.5 million new cancer diagnosis  in the United States according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org which tracks health news related to cancer and heart disease. 

Individuals interested in receiving a cost quote for critical illness insurance from a designated American Association for Critical Illness Insurance professional can complete the organization’s free quote request form accessible at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org/free-quote/ or by calling the Association’s offices.

Drinking Coffee Can Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Researchers report that instead of drinking your morning cup of coffee, spread it on your skin as a way of preventing harmful sun damage that leads to skin cancer. 

According to a new study, caffeine guards against certain skin cancers at the molecular level by inhibiting a protein enzyme in the skin.  The protein is known as ATR.  A report from the American Association for Critical Illness, cancer is a leading critical illness affecting millions of Americans annually.

Based on what scientists learned by studying mice, caffeine applied directly to the skin might help prevent damaging UV light from causing skin cancer.  Earlier research noted that mice fed caffeinated water and exposed to lamps that generated UVB radiation were able to kill off a greater percentage of their badly damaged cells and reduce the risk of cells becoming cancerous.

Jesse Slome, director of the critical illness insurance trade group explains that scientists have known that coffee drinking is associated with a decreased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer.  “There now needs to be studies to determine whether topical caffeine inhibits sunlight-induced skin cancer,” Slome states.

In this newly-published study, instead of inhibiting ATR with caffeinated water, researchers at the University of Washington, genetically modified and diminished ATR in one group of mice. They found that the genetically modified mice developed tumors more slowly than the unmodified mice, had 69 percent fewer tumors than regular mice and developed four times fewer invasive tumors.

According to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance, sunlight-induced skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States with more than one million new cases each year.

The trade group offers no-cost quotes for critical illness insurance from a designated Association  professional.

New Drug Approved To Treat Deadly Skin Cancer

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the approval of a new drug to treat advanced melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. 

According to the announcement made in Washington, the drug named Zelboraf, was approved for patients with metastatic melanoma, the most life-threatening form of skin cancer and one form that cannot be removed with surgery. 

According to scientists, the drug is the latest in a new generation of cancer-fighting drugs specifically medically tailored to attack genetic vulnerabilities of malignancies.  The FDA explained that Zelboraf was approved only for tumors with a specific genetic mutation. The drug was approved with a test that can determine if a patient’s cancer has this particular mutation. 

The research testing and findings found that the mutation which produces a version of a protein that is normally involved in regulating cell growth is mutated in about half of patients with advanced melanoma. The report concluded that Zelboraf inhibits the activity of the mutated protein. 

Zelboraf, which is marketed by Genentech of San Francisco.  The medication was reviewed under the FDA’s priority review program, which enables the agency to approve drugs quickly. 

In a study involving 675 patients with late-stage melanoma with the mutation, 77 percent of those who received Zelboraf were still living, while only 64 percent of those who received a standard chemotherapy drug known as dacarbazine survived eight months, the FDA said. 

Melanoma is the leading cause of death from skin disease. About 68,130 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed and about 8,700 people die from the disease each year in the United States according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org which tracks health news related to cancer and heart disease. 

Individuals interested in receiving a cost quote for critical illness insurance from a designated American Association for Critical Illness Insurance professional can complete the organization’s free quote request form accessible at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org/free-quote/ or by calling the Association’s offices.

Cancer Risk Reduced By Even 15 Minutes Of Exercise

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

New research finds that just 15 minutes of daily physical activity can reduce the risk of cancer.

The current generally accepted exercise recommendations call for adults to do a total of 2.5 hours of physical activity weekly.  That equates to about 150 minutes per-week.

This week, researchers released the results of a study that reports that doing only a quarter-hour of daily exercise or about 105 minutes a week still provides benefits.

Adults who exercised for an average of 92 minutes per week were 10 percent less likely to die of cancer, and had a three-year longer life expectancy, on average.  Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise beyond the minimum 15 minutes further reduced the risk of all-cause death by 4 percent and the risk of cancer death by 1 percent.

“Over 1.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year so anything that reduces the risk is most welcome news,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org

The study included more than 390,000 residents of  Taiwan.  Researchers followed these individuals for an average of eight years and, based on self-reported amounts of weekly exercise, placed them into five categories.

Individuals interested in receiving a cost quote for critical illness insurance from a designated American Association for Critical Illness Insurance professional can complete the organization’s free quote request form accessible at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org/free-quote/ or by calling the Association’s offices.

Vitamin D Linked To Higher Risk Of Cancer

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

New research reports that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer.  The levels fall within the normal range of vitamin D levels the researchers report.

People with levels of higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D were more likely to develop squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma the scientists found.  Other factors, including increased exposure to sunlight, likely complicate the relationship.  The news was reported online in Archives of Dermatology.

The relationship between vitamin D and skin cancer is complex and studies have yielded conflicting results acknowledges Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance which tracks news related to cancer and heart disease.

“Some research suggests that vitamin D might reduce the risk of basal cell carcinoma, but other studies have had the opposite outcome,” explains Jesse Slome, AACII’s director.  The researchers analyzed data, over an average of 9.8 years of follow-up, from over 3,200 white members of a health maintenance organization who had a high probability of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer.

The researchers found, 240 patients developed nonmelanoma skin cancer, including 49 with squamous cell carcinoma, 163 with basal cell carcinoma, and 28 with both.  Some 80% of the cases occurred in sites frequently exposed to the sun.

When patients were divided into four groups according to their D levels, there was a trend linking the higher levels and skin cancer risk that was significant.

The findings add “to the limited and conflicting epidemiological investigation regarding the relationship between vitamin D and [nonmelanoma skin cancer], the researchers concluded.  They added that, aside from UVB light, the finding might also be confounded by such things as participants’ vitamin D levels over a lifetime and consumption of vitamin D supplements, which they were unable to investigate.

Individuals interested in receiving a cost quote for critical illness insurance from a designated American Association for Critical Illness Insurance professional can complete the organization’s free quote request form accessible at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org/free-quote/ or by calling the Association’s offices.

Early Morning Smokers Face Higher Cancer Risk

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

American smokers who light their first cigarette soon after waking up may be at greater risk for lung, head and neck cancers a new study finds.

“First thing in the morning smokers face a greater risk according to new research,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org, a trade group.  “Those who wait longer before having their first cigarette apparently face a lower risk of cancers.”  There were 1.5 million new cancer cases in the U.S. according to Association data.

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer.  Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine explained that early morning smokers have higher levels of nicotine and possibly other tobacco toxins in their body.  As a result, they may be more addicted than smokers who refrain from smoking for a half hour or more. 

Researchers compared nearly 4,800 lung cancer patients with some 2,800 smokers who didn’t have cancer. They reported finding that those who smoked 31 to 60 minutes after waking up were 1.3 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those who waited at least an hour before lighting up. 

The study researchers added that those individuals who smoked within 30 minutes of waking up were 1.79 times more likely to develop lung cancer. 

In a separate analysis, the investigators compared over 1,050 smokers with head and neck cancer with nearly 800 smokers without the disease. Those who smoked 31 to 60 minutes after waking up were 1.42 times more likely to develop cancer than those who waited more than an hour minutes to have a cigarette. Smokers who had their first cigarette within a half hour of waking up were 1.59 times more likely to develop head and neck cancer. 

The findings suggest the desire to have a cigarette immediately after waking up may increase smokers’ risk for cancer.  In particular, these smokers would benefit from smoking cessation programs and should focus specifically on this early morning behavior.

Hazards of Obesity Now Rival Smoking in U.S.

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

A new study conducted by researchers at Columbia University and The City College of New York analyzed 1993-2008 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System that included interviews with more than 3.5 million adults. 

The results showed that the quality-adjusted life years lost to obesity are equal to, or greater than, those lost because of smoking. 

From 1993 to 2008, the number of adult smokers decreased 18.5 percent and smoking-related quality-adjusted life years lost remained relatively stable at 0.0438 quality-adjusted life years lost per population. Over that same time, the proportion of obese Americans increased 85 percent, resulting in 0.0464 quality-adjusted life years lost. Obesity had a larger effect on disease, while smoking had a greater impact on deaths, the researchers found. 

Although life expectancy and quality-adjusted life expectancy have increased over time, the increase in the contribution of mortality to quality-adjusted life years lost from obesity may result in a decline in future life expectancy. 

The study is published in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Another recent study concluded that if both smoking and obesity rates in the United States remain unchanged, life expectancy in the nation will be reduced by almost nine months. That study was published in the Dec. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. 

Posted by the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance.  Visit our website to obtain a free quote for this important protection.