If you listen to all the health reports and warnings in the paper everyday you'd be a confused wreck. It seems we can't do right for doing wrong. We try to eat healthily but are bombarded with information that tells us what is good for us and what isn't, followed the following week by conflicting news about how certain health foods cause horrible diseases of one type or another.
Lifestyles, diet and health are some of the biggest issues that affect our life insurance premiums. Doctors are not huge fans of alternative therapies and prefer to go down the drug route. And this is how so many menopausal women have come to take hormone replacement therapy.
However, it would seem that HRT therapies are being held responsible for cancer cases long after the treatment is finished. The risk of breast cancer is still 27 per cent higher three years after treatment when compared with women who have never received this therapy and these are worrying statistics.
At the height of the debate of HRT and the knock on effects, over a million women in Britain ceased treatment, leaving them with the unpleasant menopausal toll on their bodies. Unpleasant, but better than cancer.
Heart disease is another impact of HRT and women are being advised to only use it if absolutely necessary and then for as short a time as possible.
Life insurance companies will be taking this into consideration which will leave you with higher premiums for longer than necessary, given that these women are trying to help themselves and relieve symptoms. It seems doctors can help one thing but this often leaves us vulnerable to other problems.
Medicine is big business and if you are concerned about your cancer risk after taking HRT you could always treat yourself to the new test that is available through private medical services. It is now possible to indulge yourself in a complete MOT for the measly price of 2,200. pounds.
The UK government are hoping to implement measures for monitoring the nation's health more accurately but the Biophysical 250 is the mother of all tests and promises to be a huge money saver for life insurance companies.
For the price of two tablespoons of blood you can have your prediction read as to whether you are likely to develop heart, blood or cancer diseases. How uplifting!
In your detailed report will be an idiots guide to your health. Of the 250 listed possible problems, there will be a colour coded guide. Red means immediate action required, amber denotes preventative action needed and green symbolises a low risk. It will cover illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, pneumonia, hormonal imbalances, vitamin and protein deficiencies as well as numerous types of cancer. Just what you want dropping through your letterbox on a Monday morning!
This comprehensive health check is being billed as an effective one stop health check but surely this is only wise if you have the private medical insurance or life insurance to cover such problems that may be thrown up. This also brings further into the light the class system so prevalent in this country.
For those who can afford private medical care, they can have the test and deal with any problems. The rest of us pay our taxes for the NHS, knowing it is completely overwhelmed already and the chances of us getting the test, or the medical aid we need, are very remote.
Wealthy people will not be affected by the hike in life insurance premiums that this brings about but the average person certainly would be. Will it one day be a case of life insurance companies insisting on us taking this test before it decided if or how it will cover us? And would this not be discrimination against those of us who can just about scrape together the money for life insurance premiums as it is?
Insurance expert Catherine Harvey looks at the effects on life insurance of new discoveries in the medical world.