– Hereditary Cancer Syndrome

By now you’ve probably heard the exciting news that some companies will no longer consider family cancer histories as an adverse underwriting factor that would prevent applicants from consideration for preferred classes unless there are features of the family history that suggest a hereditary cancer syndrome may be present. While all cancers are believed to … Read more

– Hematuria

Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is commonly encountered in the application process. The underwriter has the sometimes difficult task of deciding which cases are benign and which require further evaluation to rule out serious causes. Hematuria can often be asymptomatic, even if serious disease is present. Possible causes of hematuria: There are many possible … Read more

– Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition characterized by thickening of heart muscle not secondary to a known underlying cause, such as hypertension or valvular heart disease. HCM runs in families, and over one thousand different mutations on several different genes have been identified. An overview of HCM There are different subtypes of HCM … Read more

– T Wave Changes

The basic components of an electrocardiogram: An EKG can help disclose the presence of arrhythmias, heart block, prior myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy (primary disease of heart muscle), left ventricular hypertrophy, and other conditions. While not always diagnostic of a specific cardiac condition, an EKG abnormality can be a red flag to a potential problem and the … Read more

– Left Ventricular Hypertrophy

The left ventricle is the chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the rest of the body. When it is enlarged, it can be associated with increased risk for heart attack, stroke and death. When the muscular walls of the left ventricle get thicker than they should be, this finding is termed left ventricular … Read more

– Athletic Heart

CHARACTERISTICS: The changes that occur with an athletic heart, which are also referred to as cardiac remodeling, are not felt to be pathologic and so a true athletic heart usually should not be associated with an increased mortality risk. Structural changes that can occur with an athletic heart include increased thickness and dilation of the … Read more

– Premature Ventricular Contractions

Characteristics Premature ventricular contractions, or PVCs, are heartbeats that occur earlier than usual and originate in a ventricle (a bottom chamber of the heart). Heartbeats normally originate in the sinoatrial node, also called the SA node, which is located in the right atrium (top right chamber of the heart). PVCs are commonly seen in insurance … Read more

– Coronary Artery Disease

Risk Factors: Major coronary artery disease risk factors include tobacco use, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, family history of coronary artery disease, and hyperlipidemia. The Legal & General America underwriting philosophy emphasizes the cholesterol/HDL ratio rather than total cholesterol in underwriting applicants without known heart disease due to its better predictive value. People with coronary … Read more

– Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

CHARACTERISTICS: The aorta is the major artery that supplies oxygenated blood throughout the body. The section of the aorta that traverses the abdominal area is called the abdominal aorta. The abdominal aorta is normally about 2 cm in diameter, and if the abdominal aorta is dilated to greater than 3 cm, it is termed an … Read more

– Liver Enzyme Abnormalities

Characteristics The liver, which is located in the right upper abdominal cavity, is an actor that truly plays many roles in the stage of life. Just a partial list of the liver’s many functions includes the formation of plasma proteins, the breakdown of medications and harmful substances, conversion of glucose into the starch glycogen for … Read more