Hectic Lifestyles Are Leading to A Higher Incidence Of Lifestyle Diseases in India

Jul 11, 2018 | 4 months ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

Vikas is a young professional whose day starts at 7 in the morning and extends late into the night, leaving him with no time to exercise or even plan a healthy diet. He usually works in high-pressured, stressful situations to meet his deadlines. When he has time off, he likes to catch up with his favourite shows in bed or go out with his friends for a drive.

Sounds familiar?

Most of our lives today have become similarly high-paced and driven, leaving us with virtually no time to plan a healthy lifestyle. Over 61% of deaths in India can be attributed to lifestyle diseases. A recent study published by The Lancet has drawn attention to the rising number of lifestyle diseases in India’s developed states.

Source: TOI

India has the highest number of diabetics as per the WHO and this number is set to increase about five-fold by 2025, yet only 11% of the population has a critical illness policy to cover them. This is rooted in the fact that most people believe that a health insurance is unnecessary.

What are lifestyle diseases?

Lifestyle diseases refer to all those non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that can develop as a result of hectic and stress prone habits. They depend on the environment you work in, the kind of work you do, the food you eat, etc. The most common of these diseases include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and cancer.

Not restricted to adults alone, this lifestyle epidemic of sorts is spreading amongst kids as well. The shift in our purchasing power coupled with advancements in technology keep most kids glued to their screens, munching on unhealthy treats. This puts them at risk for developing obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

25 million people in India suffer from cardiovascular disease, which is 60% of the global total. A major reason why these diseases go unnoticed until they have progressed to a critical stage is the lack of awareness about the preventions and necessary insurances that can be taken.

Considering medical costs have risen by 176% since 2004, the treatment for these illnesses can end up costing you an arm and a leg, even if you are covered by a regular health insurance.

What can I do about it?

The easiest advice and the most difficult to follow is to eat healthy, exercise and keep stress to the minimum. But this advice isn’t feasible in the hyper-competitive, driven world we live in today. In this situation, taking precautions in the form of a critical illness insurance becomes imperative.

All states in our country have made what’s called an ‘epidemiological transition’, wherein communicable diseases like tuberculosis and infections have gone down while non-communicable diseases like cancer and diabetes have increased exponentially.

Lifestyle diseases require long-term treatments that can end up draining your finances if you aren’t prepared. A critical illness policy ensures that the emotional and financial health of your family is taken care of.

Tell me more:

Critical illness policies are insurance plans which are designed specifically to counter the rising incidence of lifestyle diseases. They usually cover 6-12 critical illnesses depending on the nature of your cover. In most of these plans, the entire sum assured is paid to you on diagnosis; you do not have to wait till hospitalisation.

A regular health plan or even a term plan is a good option, however, a critical illness cover is much more specific and suited to match the escalating treatment costs. These plans may be of two types: standalone and rider. A standalone plan needs to renewed every five years or so, based on the terms of your cover while a rider is over a longer period with relatively lower premiums.

Where do I start?

You should start by browsing through the various critical illness plans online so as to get a better idea of what they have to offer. Policies like Aegon Life’s iCI rider  provide you with long term covers at low premiums besides having additional tax benefits.

Plan ahead, stay informed and make the right choice when it comes to your health.

Advt. No.: IA/Jul 2018/4194


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