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Gen Re posts China dread disease numbers

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Gen Re actuaries have published an analysis aimed at insurers that are starting to think about selling dread disease insurance in China.

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Wolfgang Droste, a consultant, and Jianbo Xiang, a senior actuary, have given readers a glimpse of recent trends in incidence rates for several representative conditions: female breast cancer, female thyroid cancer, male stroke, female stroke and male heart attack.

The authors show, for example, that women in China seem to have a high, and rapidly rising, rate of female thyroid cancer with at least some of the increase likely due to the popularity of ultrasound screening.

However the reported incidence of breast cancer is low in China, in part because the government does not subsidize regular screening for breast cancer, the authors say.

The authors also give maps showing the incidence of all dread diseases in different Chinese provinces. For both men and women, the northeastern provinces tend to have above-average incidence rates, and the western regions tend to have low incidence rates.