Getting Life Insurance When You Have an Abnormal Echocardiogram


An echocardiogram is a test of the heart that can speak volumes about the health of your heart. For that reason, an abnormal echocardiogram can have an effect on an application for life insurance.

What Is an Echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is test that measures the performance and functionality of the human heart. The test is administered routinely once you reach middle age. The test provides a wealth of information that can identify cardiovascular problems and be the starting point for determining treatment methods.

An echocardiogram measures, among other things, the thickness of the heart walls and the functioning of the heart. The test itself uses ultrasound to create images of the heart that can be evaluated by cardiologists and other medical experts to see what’s going on inside the heart.

A complication is that the echocardiogram isn’t a perfect test. Though it provides the ability to look at the heart without doing invasive surgery, it can contain technical errors. As well, since the test results are reviewed by experts, there can be differences of opinion as to both the nature and the extent of any findings.

What an Echocardiogram Says About Your Heart

An echocardiogram provides many details about the condition and functionality of your heart. Some of the more significant revelations include:

Left Ventricular Function – This enables your heart to pump blood to your whole body. If the function is abnormal you could experience fatigue or shortness of breath. An echocardiogram indicate if these conditions are originating with the left ventricle function.

Right Ventricular Hypertrophy, Dysfunction, or Dilation – The right ventricle supplies blood to the lungs. The test can reveal if there is an enlargement of both the right ventricle and atrium. There are several conditions that can cause this outcome, including congenital heart disease and pulmonary disease, among others.

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy – This is caused by excess heart muscle tissue, and can ultimately lead to heart failure. The test measures the thickness of the heart muscle walls and how far it has progressed, if the condition exists.

Left and/or Right Atrial Enlargement – An enlargement means that there is a risk for both stroke and atrial fibrillation, and is usually a result of an underlying condition.

Left Ventricular Diastolic Dysfunction – This condition is typically caused by coronary artery disease, hypertensive heart disease and even ageing. The good news is that it can often be at least partially remedied with successful treatment of the conditions that are causing it.

Why It’s Important to be Proactive in Managing an Indicated Condition

If a test reveals an abnormal echocardiogram, it can be something of a life-changing event from a life insurance standpoint. The results of the test will become part of your permanent medical records, and any life insurance company you make application to will have access to that information.

That isn’t to say that an abnormal echocardiogram means you will never be able to get life insurance. There are a wide range of abnormalities when it comes to the human heart. Some can indicate permanent and substantial impairment of the heart function. But others may represent a wide variety of conditions that simply need to be managed, or even improved upon.

In the event that you do have an abnormal echocardiogram, it’s important that you follow the prescribed treatment and lifestyle adjustments that are necessary. This will not only help to prolong your life and improve your quality of life, but will be looked upon favorably by life insurance companies (this is not to overstate this as a concern, but more in recognition of the fact that everyone will need to apply for life insurance sooner or later).

Sometimes the recommended treatment for an abnormality is surgery. If it is determined to be necessary, it’s best to have that done as soon as possible, since the condition can worsen if left untreated.

But beyond surgery – which is typically required only in extreme circumstances – it’s important to properly manage your overall health. That should include:

  • Getting regular follow-up medical treatment
  • Taking any prescribed medications as directed
  • Eliminating unhealthy habits, such as cigarette smoking or excessive alcohol consumption
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Eating a balanced diet, particularly one that eliminates foods that may be unhealthy for a potential heart condition
  • Maintaining a proper weight-to-height ratio
  • Avoiding stressful situations, to the degree that is possible in your life
  • Any other lifestyle changes, as recommended by your physician

Following such a routine, as evidenced by your medical records, will help to reassure a life insurance underwriter that you are doing what is necessary to properly manage your health, in spite of whatever condition an abnormal echocardiogram may reveal.

Choose Your Insurance Company Carefully!

It’s a fact of life in the insurance universe that some companies take a very dim view of applicants who have an abnormal echocardiogram. They may charge very high premiums, or possibly even decline the application outright.

Fortunately, there are life insurance companies that take a positive view of people with an abnormal echocardiogram, and these are the companies that you want to apply with for your life insurance needs. But unless you actually work actively in the life insurance field, knowing who these companies are will be somewhere between difficult and impossible.

But that’s where we come in – we do work in the field, and know which companies are most likely to approve your life insurance application. Give us a call, and let’s get you insured!