What could kill you

24 October 2017 - 13:58 By Katharine Child
Heart attack symptoms may include an uneasy feeling in the chest.
Heart attack symptoms may include an uneasy feeling in the chest.
Image: Supplied

If you are in KwaZulu-Natal you are more likely to die of heart-related conditions‚ but cancer is more likely to kill you if you live in Cape Town.

Discovery Life has just released a breakdown of its 2016 life cover claims for death and disability. It noted certain diseases were more prevalent in certain provinces but gave no reasons as to why.

Discovery Life found people in Cape Town were 44% more likely to claim for disability cover for cancer while fighting the disease‚ than residents in other provinces.

The main cause of death for Discovery clients in Cape Town was cancer‚ 22% higher than the national average.

People in Gauteng were more likely to die of conditions affecting the nervous system such as Alzheimer's‚ Parkinson's‚ stroke‚ multiple sclerosis‚ and motor neuron disease.

According to Discovery Life statistics‚ if you are living in inland provinces - like Mpumalanga‚ Limpopo‚ Free State and the Northern Cape - you are marginally more likely to die an unnatural death.

Crime and traffic accidents are causes of unnatural deaths.

In KwaZulu-Natal heart disease was the biggest killer‚ which was 17% higher than the national average of Discovery Life clients.

The Human Sciences Research Council notes that Indian people are more likely to die of heart disease than any other ethnic group in South Africa. This could explain KwaZulu-Natal's higher rates of heart disease. There are also high levels of diabetes among Indian people in South Africa‚ which increases the risk of heart attacks.

It is a global trend that Indians and people of South Asian descent are more at risk of heart disease than other ethnicities‚ due to dietary and genetic conditions.

In Gauteng‚ heart-related conditions were the lowest in the country‚ 21% lower than average.

Men overall were more likely to die of heart and artery conditions and unnatural deaths.

Women across the country were more likely to die from cancer and heart and artery conditions.

More than half of unnatural deaths under 30 were traffic accidents.

The youngest male whose family claimed life cover was 24 years old and he died from a fall. The youngest female who died and had cover was 28 and died in a car accident.

"More than one in five death claims were due to unnatural causes that can affect clients regardless of their age or underlying health. 42% of these deaths were as a result of motor vehicle accidents. This highlights the need for life cover‚ irrespective of health or age‚" read the media release.

Discovery said Vitality members with gold and diamond status who score very high vitality points were 61% less likely to claim for death or disability than clients who didn’t have high Vitality points.

High Vitality points earners usually exercise very often and have a healthy weight.