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High Cholesterol and Insurance in Shanghai: A Pre-Existing Condition?

Over the decades, China has seen an economic boom and a rising middle class. Of course, with the comforts of modern living come sedentary living and a poor diet. Given these, it doesn't take long for high cholesterol to become an issue for a country. Find out more about the topic of high cholesterol in China here.

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 by Travis Jones

A fat that travels through every person’s bloodstream, cholesterol is vital to protecting our internal organs and nerves, and to building new hormones. At the same time, too much LDL – that’s the bad type of cholesterol – can build up in the arteries, blocking the flow of blood, leading to clots and causing heart attack or stroke. In the second half of the 20th century we’ve seen increasing cases of high cholesterol in developed nations, spurred by more sedentary lifestyles and dietary changes that deliver more fat to the system. With more emphasis on the importance of exercise and a healthy diet over the last few years, incidences of high cholesterol in the Western world have decreased – however, in Asia and China especially, high cholesterol is on the rise.

How can high cholesterol be prevented and treated?

High cholesterol is nearly always caused by either lifestyle choices, or genetics. For patients with no family history of high cholesterol, preventing it means exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. The best diet for preventing bad cholesterol is high in fiber (whole grains, legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables) and natural fats (nuts, lean meat, avocado). Patients predisposed to high cholesterol due to genetics can also prevent a buildup of bad cholesterol by exercising and eating healthily – but this may not be enough. Many patients with a family history of high cholesterol also take medication to lower their LDL levels. These drugs, known as statins, prevent the liver from making too much bad cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of plaque build-up and maintaining a healthy blood flow to avoid clots.  

Bad cholesterol is treated in precisely the same way it’s prevented – with diet and exercise maintenance, and medication if needed. A physician will often recommend a nutritionist or lifestyle expert who can offer the patient advice on making heart-healthy choices. This medical figure is also especially important for patients experiencing diabetes – another lifestyle disease that’s being called a major health crisis in China.  A nutritionist can help the patient plan healthier meals and stick to a regimen that will aid weight loss and reduce LDL levels.

Doctors in China may also recommend a visit to a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A TCM doctor can work with a high cholesterol patient to balance the body through acupuncture or an herbal tincture. Many patients in China report that alongside healthy diet and exercise, TCM has helped to lower their cholesterol.

Is treatment for high cholesterol covered by insurance?

Not all insurance plans cover diagnosis and treatment for high cholesterol. According to some policies, high cholesterol is a pre-existing condition – and therefore cannot be covered under the terms of the plan.

Pacific Prime is committed to keeping its customers happy and healthy, which is why we work with insurance partners who don’t prevent access to high cholesterol coverage under a pre-existing conditions clause.

For more information on such plans, reach out to the insurance experts at Pacific Prime today. Not only can they answer all of your questions, they will provide you with a free quotation that compares prices and plans from the world’s best insurance companies. Contact them today!

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