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How high blood pressure affects Life Insurance

Uncontrolled hypertension often goes hand in hand with serious health conditions including heart failure, coronary artery disease, enlarged heart, diabetes, kidney failure and stroke. In general, a life insurance company will look much more favorably upon a person who is taking antihypertensives to control their blood pressure than a person who has even minor hypertension who refuses to take medicine.

Stage 1 high blood pressure (140/ 90 to 159/99 )

Stage 1 is often treated using diuretics. A diuretic works by flushing excess sodium and water from the body. Common diuretics are Lasix (furosemide) and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). You may have heard someone refer to their diuretic as a "water pill". The diuretic along with life style changes may be enough to bring a person's blood pressure down into the normal range. If this is you, a good agent should be able to obtain insurance in without any price increase due to the hypertension history.

Sometimes a diuretic alone will not do the job. In that case another medicine may be added. Calcium channel blockers include Norvasc (Amlodipine), Cardizem (Diltiazem), Procardia (Adalat). Calcium channel blockers reduce the amount of calcium going into heart and artery muscle cells during contraction reducing blood pressure. Beta blockers such as Lopressor (Metoprolol), Corgard (Nadolol) reduce blood pressure by reducing the beta nerve stimulation to the heart. ACE inhibitors reduce blood pressure by inhibiting the production of a hormone that causes blood vessels to narrow. Common ACE inhibitors are Capoten (Captopril), Prinivil (Lisinopril) and Altace (Ramipril). Angiotensin II receptor antagonist (more commonly called an "ARB" for angiotensin receptor blocker) prevent a hormone called angiotensin from affecting the blood vessels letting them widen. Cozaar (Losartan), Benicar (Olmesartan) and Diovan (Valsartan) are common angiotensin II receptor blockers.

Since there are several different ways to reduce blood pressure a person may have tried several different medications before finding the type of antihypertensive that works best for them. There are some life insurance companies that are fine with this as long as the blood pressure has been in the normal range over the last year. Another words, you have found a medication that is effective.

Stage 2 high blood pressure (160/100 or higher)

Often a combination of medicines will be prescribed for stage 2 high blood pressure. As long as the medicines are effective and all readings have been normal for at least one year then it is still possible to get the best rate class. The agent must be diligent and carefully review underwriting rules to be sure that no penalty is assessed for controlled blood pressure with the company he is quoting. It is still possible to qualify for preferred plus is everything else is good.

If none of the common medicines or combinations of medicines works to bring down a person's stage 2 high blood pressure than an alpha blocker, central-acting agent or vasodilator may be prescribed. In this case underwriters must review and make decisions on a case by case basis. If the medication is working the underwriter must still evaluate the possible side effects of these potent medicines. Here you need an experienced agent who will take the time to communicate directly with underwriters. At RescueQuote your personal agent will take the time to review the underwriting rules of all the companies competing for your business and communicate with underwriters when needed in order to make sure that you are getting the best possible price.

Let RescueQuote help you find the life insurance that fits your situation. Click here to begin your life insurance search >


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