How do risk factors lead to critical illness claims?

Published 09 Feb 2016

While it's unlikely that people will be in control of all the different aspects of an accident that lead to a total permanent disability claim, there are some risk factors that people can attempt to mitigate by changing their lifestyle.

This usually concerns critical illness claims, as many diseases that leave Australians unable to work are the result of a complicated relationship between environmental, physical and behavioural factors. By being aware of some of the instances that can make people more susceptible to diseases, it's possible to reduce the risk of developing a critical illness and being unable to work.

In other cases, understanding risk factors can make it easier for people who have already left the workforce to retain a comfortable quality of life.

What are behavioural risk factors?

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) defines behavioural risk factors as those which a person has control over. In most instances, these should be the first things people should attempt to change if they're looking to limit their risk of developing critical illnesses or exacerbating existing ones.

Examples of these risk factors include habits and addiction such as smoking, alcohol abuse, a lack of exercise and inadequate nutrition. While these traits may not be critical illnesses in and of themselves, they can greatly increase the chances of people becoming unwell.

Why are biomedical factors a challenge?

Precious few health issues are easy for doctors and other specialists to get on top of, and ongoing medical concerns are a key example of this. Biomedical risk factors are those that mix both behavioural and biological influences, which can complicate matters.

One notable example is high cholesterol, a key contributor to heart disease and other cardiovascular illnesses. In some cases, these concerns are greatly exacerbated by a person's diet or lack of exercise, while in others they may be purely biological.

How do demographics change health concerns?

Certain groups of Australians are more susceptible to specific illnesses than others, a fact that can make it easier to diagnose, prevent and treat these issues. These groups of people are divided up by identifying traits such as sex, age and nationality and change the way people develop disease or illness and which risks are most concerning.

To find out more about critical illness claims, contact the lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners.

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