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What is Diabetes Awareness Week?

November 17 to 23 is Diabetes NZ Awareness & Appeal Week.

Diabetes is the result of the body not creating enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. It cannot presently be cured but it can be controlled and you can lead a full and active life.

So what’s the link between diabetes and life insurance you may well ask? Well… plenty!

Anyone who is unfortunate enough to have diabetes that’s tried to get life cover would know that it’s neigh on impossible to get. It is not just that the risks are high for insuring someone with diabetes, but it is almost impossible to calculate the mortality risk of someone who has diabetes.

Translating this into plain English… insurers can’t offer a price for life cover because they can’t predict how the disease is likely to affect the sufferer’s lifespan. All they know is that in all probability, a person suffering diabetes is likely to die earlier than the average of the population… not necessarily from the disease itself, but from a range of complications and side effects that can be fatal… such as heart problems and neuromuscular problems.

There are three types of diabetes which you can read more about on Diabetes NZ website.

According to Mike Smith, president of Diabetes NZ;

"There are now over 157,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in New Zealand. Of these, 142,000 have Type 2 diabetes and it is estimated there are 80,000 who also have Type 2 diabetes and have not yet been diagnosed and a further 400,000, with elevated blood glucose levels, who are at risk."

"The figures for Type 1 diabetes are also rising at an alarming rate. Currently there are 15,000 diagnosed and around 10,000 of these are young people. Some research states this is increasing by at least 5% a year."

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