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Premiums should not be high for pre-diabetic policy holders - NADI

KUALA LUMPUR: Insurance companies should not bloat premiums for pre-diabetic policy holders by lumping them in the same category as those with full-blown diabetes.
National Institute of Diabetes (NADI) board of management director Prof Datuk Dr Anuar Zaini Md Zain said the situation had caused such policy holders to stay mum on their condition, which without treatment would worsen since in the course of trying to avoid from paying high insurance premiums.
“They only go to the hospital when the disease becomes problematic or they have full blown diabetes,” he said during RHB Foundation’s inaugural diabetes awareness programme here today.
Dr Anuar said upon being diagnosed with the disease, pre-diabetic policy holders also find that they had developed among others high cholesterol, blood pressure, heart and kidney ailments.
Anuar who is also a consultant endocrinologist, urged insurance companies incentivise those who stay free of the disease, or whose rate of risks reduced.
“If an individual’s conversion risk to diabetes is 20 to 22 per cent and the person in question manages to dip it to 10 per cent, the (insurance) companies should give them an incentive that can be in a form of a no-claim benefit.”
Dr Anuar also said that diabetics who are managing their lifestyle instead of resorting to medication should also be offered lower premiums.
“The levy should be on those on medication, in order to convey a message that it is better to focus on lifestyle modification instead of medication.”
Dr Anuar said over the past five years, there has been a growing trend among youths between late 20s and 35 suffering from heart attacks.
He said that 80 to 90 per cent of the group have high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure, leading to clogged heart vessels which would trigger angina or heart attacks.
"The moral of the story here is these people do not know that they have abnormal sugar levels. There is also a conspicuous number of Chinese youths succumbing to these heart attacks,” Dr Anuar said, adding that high blood sugar levels were now common among the three major Malaysian communities.
Judging from the worrying trend and the fact that most diabetics are diagnosed after the age of 45 he also said that it was also vital for organisations especially outfits with large pool of staff to screen their employees for symptoms.

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