Heart disease on the climb, insurers offer incentives to be healthy
by Richard Kilner
After three decades of decline, heart disease is now rising again, according to research conducted by a team from University of British Columbia, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Particularly at risk are the younger generations.
The rates of heart disease have begun to level off for those between 35 and 55 years of age, with complacency chief amongst the probable causes.
The situation is being exacerbated by overconsumption of fast food, lack of exercise and unhealthy lifestyle choices including smoking and binge drinking.
The study also found that a substantial proportion of those who died of unnatural causes had an underlying health problem, such as coronary artery disease.
Other factors that are negatively affecting the rates of heart disease include the obesity epidemic and rising levels of diabetes (which is also linked to obesity).
The insurance industry has begun to latch onto the healthy living paradigm, with certain providers offering incentives to participate in healthy behaviour.
The Prudential, for example, offer free or reduced fees for gym membership.