If you have experienced an aortic dissection and are reading this article, you are a lucky person! Aortic dissections are life-threatening medical emergencies that claim the lives of many people in the United States each year.
Aortic dissections have claimed famous personalities, such as John Ritter, Alan Thicke, Lucile Ball, and others.
Aortic dissection (AD) causes immediate life-threatening problems if undiagnosed and untreated.
What is an aortic dissection?
An aortic dissection results from a small tear in the wall of the aorta. This small tear results in a new channel between the inner and outer layers of the aortic wall. This tear causes bleeding, which can cause the tear to enlarge and create a life-threatening condition.
What causes an aortic dissection?
Aortic dissection can be caused by several health circumstances:
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, traumatic injury to the chest, and conditions present at birth, such as Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, are the main precursors to aortic dissection.
- High blood pressure accelerates the body’s natural aging process and results in damage to tissue within the body. This promotes weakness in the aortic wall and increases the risk of a tear that would lead to aortic dissection.
- Severe chest injuries, such as those that occur in automobile accidents, may cause an aortic dissection.
- Diseases of connective tissues in the body, such as Marfan’s syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, can damage the connective tissue in the middle of the aortic wall. This connective tissue damage can lead to an aortic dissection.
- Other diseases, such as Cushing’s syndrome, giant cell arteritis, lupus, or polycystic kidney disease, can also result in aortic dissection.
Who is most at risk for AD?
Aortic dissections can lead to death due to severe internal bleeding, organ damage, stroke, or aortic valve damage. Those at most risk are:
- Sex – men have double the incidence of AD versus women.
- Age – AD peaks between the ages of 60 and 80.
- Pregnancy – Eric dissections may occur in otherwise healthy women during pregnancy.
- High-intensity exercise – strenuous resistance training increases blood pressure and may increase the risk of aortic dissection. What are the symptoms of aortic dissection?
The most common symptom of aortic dissection is a sudden onset of pain when the dissection occurs. Patients often describe the pain as an intense ripping or tearing feeling that is the worst pain they have ever experienced. The pain is usually between the shoulders and the back. Pain may radiate to the arms and neck.
Other symptoms may include:
- Lack of pulse
- Numbness or inability to move legs
- Pale skin
Can I get life insurance if I’ve had an aortic dissection?
Yes, you can get life insurance if you’ve had an aortic dissection. Your rates will depend on the severity of your aortic dissection and the time since your AD.
Severe cases of AD will be treated with immediate surgery to save a patient’s life. The longer time since your AD occurred and the more stable your health has been since that time, the better chance you have of getting approved for a life insurance policy with affordable rates.
If you have just had surgery for an aortic dissection, we can help you with guaranteed issue life insurance, but we must wait a while for your medical condition to stabilize to apply for other kinds of life insurance.
What else will affect my ability to get life insurance with AD?
Insurance companies will look at what medications you are on for your AD treatment besides all other medical problems you may have. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid problems, diabetes, or any other medical issues, these will also factor into your eligibility for life insurance and the premiums the life insurance companies charge.
When is it time to get life insurance with AD?
The best time to purchase life insurance is before you experience any medical problem, including aortic dissection. Although aortic dissection is a rare medical problem, other medical problems and health issues are not rare to experience in our bodies.
The best time to purchase life insurance is when you are healthy. None of us knows what tomorrow has in store for us. We don’t know if we’ll be healthy or sick. We don’t know whether we will be alive or dead. The best time to purchase life insurance is now, even if you think you don’t need it.
Don’t wait until something terrible happens to shop for life insurance. Purchase what you can afford now, review your budget in a few years ago, and purchase more life insurance later if needed.
If you have been diagnosed with an aortic dissection or are an aortic dissection survivor, call us to help you understand your life insurance options.
Surviving an aortic dissection gives you the gift of another day with your loved ones on this earth. Take advantage of the time and get the proper amount and kind of life insurance to protect your family and loved ones when you die.