It is unlikely that it would surprise anyone to reveal that it is Cancer and Cardio-Vascular conditions.


Why would we remind you of this, when just thinking about it is enough to give anyone heart palpitations?!

We know, we know… It’s a worry, but the good news is that Liberty Life has always been committed to helping you understand your risk needs and making a difference in your life through insights gained from risk statistics. Liberty first published their claim statistics in 2006 and have done so every year since in order to assist you in making appropriate choices for your insurance needs.

Speaking at a breakfast to present the statistics of 2016, The company’s chief medical officer, Dr Philippa Peil revealed some startling information that is pertinent to us all when trying to better understand our risk profile and plan for our insurance needs.

Skin Cancer ranked as the third highest claims for cancer nationally, while it was the highest cause of claims in the Free State over the past year (24% of claim applications received).

The fact that the highest prevalence is in an area where agriculture is prevalent, the most obvious cause of the high prevalence of skin cancer is continued exposure to harmful UV Rays of sun.

The highest cause of claims in the Northern Cape was cardiovascular conditions, while the most regrettable cause for claims was suicides among farmers older than 55 years of age.

The cardiovascular risks are a massive concern.

We South Africans love our fatty “choppies” at the braai and a good bottle of wine is cheaper than therapy to use as a “de-stressor” in the extremely busy and stressful lifestyles we lead. Many (or most) of working South Africans experience high levels of stress on a daily basis from various causes such as finances, the political climate in our country, high crime levels, and unroadworthy taxis raising our blood pressure. All of this can place tremendous strain on our psyche and cardiovascular systems. Add to the mix, the unhealthy lifestyles we lead, making unhealthy food choices (fast food on the run) and the fact that we don’t exercise nearly enough (who has the time?) Obesity and High Cholesterol are rife as a result, and these conditions greatly increase our risk of cardiovascular complications.

It is noteworthy to mention that in South Africa, there is also a growing problem of high cholesterol condition inherited from parents. It is interesting that the condition appears to be prevalent among the Afrikaner population as well as in the black population. This condition makes these people at high risk to cardiovascular conditions.

So are we doomed by our heritages or can we beat the statistics somehow?

It is very important to get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly. These conditions should be taken very seriously and treatment should be sought immediately. You must remember that with raised cholesterol and high-blood pressure, patients often don’t have symptoms. They feel they are well and healthy and by the time they have a heart attack or stroke, it’s often too late.

Are you going to blame everyone, from taxi drivers to your parents, for the state of your health and do nothing about it? Or are you going to take responsibility for yourself and your loved one’s wellbeing by running a kilometre for every “choppie” you enjoy and by consulting an adviser to ensure you have enough dread and disease cover that you hope will never need?