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Healthy Adults Have Greater Need For LongTerm Care Insurance

Armen Hareyan's picture

Contrary to what one may assume, individuals who adopt healthy lifestyles have a greater need for long-term care insurance planning. Healthy individuals fortunately qualify for significant discounts according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

A new study confirms that people who adopt four healthy behaviors -- eating well, regular exercise, never smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight -- can dramatically reduce their likelihood for chronic disease and an early death. Other studies show that individuals who live longer lives have a greater likelihood of needing long term health care.

Healthy living can significantly reduce the odds for heart disease, cancer and diabetes by about 80 percent, the researchers at the U.S. Public Health Service and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted. The study, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine (August), examined the lifestyle characteristics, food habits and disease history of about 23,000 German adults between the ages of 35 and 65.

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Adherence to four key lifestyle indicators were tracked: never having smoked; having a body-mass index below 30 (the threshold for obesity); exercising for a minimum of 3.5 hours per week; and eating healthfully, as evidenced by a diet high in fruit and vegetable intake but low in meat.

Researchers found that less than 4 percent of the individuals met none of the criteria for a healthy lifestyle, while 9 percent followed all four. Regardless of age, gender, educational achievement or job status, those following all four lifestyle behaviors had a 78 percent lower risk on average for heart disease, cancer and diabetes compared with those who had adopted none of the preferable lifestyle factors.

Taken one by one, diabetes was the most significantly impacted by practicing all four healthy behaviors, with a 93 percent reduced risk compared with those who followed none of the four. Those who practiced some but not all of the highlighted behaviors did achieve some risk reduction for chronic disease, the researchers noted, although not as much. Having a Body Mass Index below 30, appeared to lower disease risk the most, followed by never smoking, routine physical activity and consuming a good diet.

Written by Jesse Slome from the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance