The Department of Health has dedicated the month of February as National Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month.  It is widely accepted that being healthy is not only limited to eating a healthy meal from time to time and working out on the odd occasion.  Neither is it about eating enough fruit and vegetables – it is also about spending quality time with your loved ones and reducing stress as this contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle and well-being.

While a little stress is nothing to fret about, the kind of intense worry that lingers for weeks or months may make it hard for you to stay healthy.

Let’s explore the relation between a healthy lifestyle and cardiovascular disease and cancer.

In the most recent South Africa Demographic and Health Survey, released by Statistics South Africa, close to half of the participants recorded as having high blood pressure were aged 15 years and older.

Hypertensive heart disease is considered the no. 1 cause of death associated with high blood pressure.  According to the Heart Foundation website the exact causes of high blood pressure are often not clear, but may strongly be influenced by risk factors such as family history, an unhealthy lifestyle due to eating patterns, physical inactivity, being overweight, smoking, alcohol use and stress.  It was found that some medicines can also raise blood pressure.

It is well-accepted that the chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make.  According to the World Health Organisation, between 30-50% of all cancer cases are preventable.

Although most risk factors do not directly cause cancer, it is important to know your risk factors to enable you to make better lifestyle choices in order to improve your health.  General risk factors include older age, personal or family history of cancer, being overweight or obese, smoking and alcohol use.

In conclusion, some risk factors can be reduced or avoided by ‘stopping’ risky behaviours.

2018 Income Disability and Critical Illness claims analysis

Annually Sanlam Group Risk analyses the disability and critical/severe illness insurance claims received during the previous year according to the causes of disability/claim events.

The results for the year 2018 confirmed the trends observed from the previous year in that cancer and cardiovascular diseases are still the most prevalent reasons for critical/severe illness claims.

To view the results of our analysis, click here.

Sanlam has responded with its Severe Illness insurance offering to specifically cater for Cancer-only and Cardiovascular-only benefit options, thereby enabling employers to directly address what concern their employees most.