Life Insurance Medical Exam Results - Creatinine Levels

Life Insurance

You’ve recently applied for life insurance and were approved at a rate higher than you applied for.The carrier indicated the adjusted rate was due to a high creatinine level from your blood test taken during your medical exam. Most likely you are confused and wondering what a creatinine level is and why would it be high. There are several factors that can affect your blood work results.

This test is performed during your medical exam to determine how well your kidneys are working. If the results are high, this could potentially be an indicator you may have kidney problems, including kidney infection and/or potential failure. In addition, this could be an indicator that you could have issues with your muscles, including breakdown of muscle. Of course, you should always consult with your physician regarding any irregular lab results.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, (http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneytests.cfm):

“Creatinine (kree-AT-uh-nin) is a waste product that comes from the normal wear and tear on muscles of the body. Creatinine levels in the blood can vary depending on age, race and body size. A creatinine level of greater than 1.2 for women and greater than 1.4 for men may be an early sign that the kidneys are not working properly. The level of creatinine in the blood rises, if kidney disease progresses.”

There could be other factors which can result in an abnormally high level of creatinine. For instance, you may have exercised in the days before your exam, drank protein shakes or eaten protein bars after your workout. Did you know that the big slice of prime rib the night before your exam could affect your creatinine level?

In an article by the Permanente Journal written by Dr. Manpreet Samra and Dr. Antoine Abcar (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3383162/):

“An increase in serum creatinine can result from increased ingestion of cooked meat (which contains creatinine converted from creatinine by the heat from cooking) or increased intake of protein and creatinine supplements, in excess of the recommended dosage. Creatinine is present in the organs, muscles, and body fluids of animals. Creatinine supplements promote protein synthesis and are a quickly available source of energy for muscle contraction, hence they are used to enhance athletic performance. Furthermore, intense exercise can increase creatinine by increasing muscle breakdown.”

Exercising and eating right are important ways to try to stay healthy. Just remember when applying for life insurance, it is important to not to exercise too heavily in the days prior to your exam. You should also avoid consuming products with high amounts of protein. 

About the author: Teri Costen has been in the life insurance business for over 20 years. She is a mother of three who enjoys working out, taking aerobic kickboxing classes, and making stained glass. Teri believes that finding the right life insurance policy helps protect your family and loved ones. You can contact Teri at 1-800-651-1953 or TCosten@Pivot.com.