Diabetes – Singapore’s Silent Killer

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As we celebrate the nation’s 52 birthday this month, PM Lee highlighted 3 important and urgent issues Singapore has to grapple with, one of which is the nation’s fight against diabetes.

While we all know that Singapore has a rapidly ageing population, not many know that Singapore is currently ranked the “2nd-highest proportion of diabetics”. The International Diabetes Federation revealed that 10.53 per cent of people in Singapore aged between 20 and 79 are estimated to have the chronic disease, just slightly behind the United States with a percentage of 10.75. According to doctors here, the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of Singaporeans and higher-calorie diets are contributing factors to the higher risks of diabetes.

With almost one-third of Singaporeans over 60 being diagnosed with diabetes, these statistics are indeed worrying. The good news is that diabetes can be prevented with some simple lifestyle changes, and you can even seek insurance protection for it now where it was not possible previously.

Understanding Diabetes in 1 Minute

There are 3 main types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes

The more dangerous form of Diabetes, Type-1 diabetes is caused by genetic factors and usually develops in children and teenagers. They are also called insulin-dependent diabetes as high blood glucose levels are caused by a total lack of insulin.

  • Type 2 Diabetes

This is the more common form of diabetes which is also called adult-onset diabetes. These people are able to produce some of their insulin, but it is not enough. It is often associated with lifestyle factors, such as sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet.

  • Gestational Diabetes

Occurs during pregnancy to women who were not previously diagnosed with the disease. Occurs in 2 to 5% of pregnancies and will require specialised care to reduce the impact on the unborn baby.

As you can see, diabetes can be caused by a variety of factors and not just by a sedentary lifestyle or obesity. The more significant impact it can on health is that if Diabetes is left unchecked, it can lead to hyperglycaemia(high blood glucose) or hypoglycaemia(low blood glucose), which can become life-threatening. These long-term complications include

  • heart diseases
  • stroke
  • eye disease
  • kidney disease
  • foot disease such as ulcers and gangrene, leading to amputations
  • nerve disease which can lead to impotence

Image Credits: Ministry of Health

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes is dangerous because the initial symptoms are quite mild and often go undetected. Common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include:

  • urinating often
  • feeling very thirsty
  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • numbness in hands and feets
  • blurry vision

Diabetes is detected through a blood glucose test. You have diabetes mellitus if your random blood glucose is 11.1 mmol/L or higher and fasting blood glucose is 7.0 mmol/L or higher.

Insurance Protection for Diabetes

We all know that it is always better to get your health insurance in order when you are younger since premiums tend to be cheaper. As we age, the probability of being diagnosed with diseases rise, thus increasing our risk of having pre-existing conditions which can exclude us from taking up certain types of insurance.

Needless to say, those who are diagnosed with diabetes will most likely be excluded from a number of health insurance. This is why AIA’s Diabetes Care Critical Illness coverage is such a unique product created to help those who are already diagnosed with Type 2, pre- and gestational diabetes to get coverage for common diabetes-related complications.

The plan provides coverage for key diabetes-related conditions, ensuring you have the financial support you need in case the unexpected occurs. There is also no need for complicated underwriting- you simply need to answer 5 simple questions to access the coverage you need.

The benefits of the plan include coverage for 5 diabetes-related critical illnesses, an amputation coverage and an optional rider that covers early to advanced stage cancer:

The 5 Critical Illnesses cover include:

1. Stroke
2. Blindness
3. Coronary artery bypass surgery
4. Heart attack of specified severity
5. Kidney failure

The optional Cancer Cover pays out 20% of your coverage amount upon diagnosis of early or intermediate stage cancer, and a further 100% upon diagnosis of major cancer. What’s more, AIA guarantees the annual renewal of the policy with level premium up till 80 years old.

This is actually a Critical Illness plan which guarantees a payout when the policyholder is diagnosed with a condition under its coverage. These payouts are often used to help the policyholder cover the huge medical bills often associated with critical illnesses.

Keen to know more about the plan or want to know what type of insurance suits your needs? Feel free to contact us today!

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