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Increased Disability with Diabetes - Will This Affect Disability Insurance Claims?

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Washington, DCPeople with diabetes are at a 50 percent increased risk for disability compared with the non-diabetic population, according to a new study recently published July 23 in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. Despite the many diabetes drugs, available to manage this disease, diabetes medications are associated with the risk for serious adverse events, and do not necessarily mitigate the risk for disability.

The results are troubling from many perspectives, and in light of the increased burden on healthcare, also raise the possibility of denied disability insurance claims, as insurance companies will continue to face increasing numbers of diabetes- related disability claims.

In this study, disability included trouble walking, using a telephone, managing finances, shopping and even bathing, dressing and eating. "We found that diabetes increased the risk of disability by 50 percent to 80 percent compared to those without diabetes, and this result was consistent across all types of disability," said review senior author Anna Peeters, head of obesity and population health at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

Specifically, the results show that the odds of someone with diabetes having trouble walking, for example, were 71 percent higher than for someone without diabetes. Further, the chances of someone with diabetes experiencing difficulties using the phone, shopping or using transportation were 65 percent higher. And the odds that someone with diabetes would have difficulty with eating, dressing and bathing were 82 percent higher, according to the review.

Any of these disabilities could seriously impact a person’s ability to work and earn and living. Both short term disability and long term disability policies are purchased as insurance to protect people in the event that they become disabled and can no longer work. But countless policy holders are denied disability insurance by insurers who employ bad faith practices.

While type 1 and type 2 diabetes can differ in the severity of types of long-term healthcare issues, Peeters said the studies didn't break down diabetes by type, but she said it's likely that most people had type 2 diabetes.

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