Had lunch yesterday with a former colleague. Last year quite unexpectedly they discovered that he had some congenital cardiac issues. he had to have angioplasty to unblock some valves, and he had to drastically alter his lifestyle.
Now, this is a guy who is in his late 30's, trim and fit. Eats basically well. Exercises. Young father. Not exactly a candidate for such problems from the look of him.
He brought up a really negative aspect of all of this that I hadn't even thought of: he cannot get life insurance. Well, take it back, he has life insurance through his work (you know, that little $1/month thing that most of us don't even notice?) If he dies his widow will basically get 2 year's salary. But not only can he not up that already existent life insurance any further. He can't get any other life insurance policy.
His doctor is actually going to try to write a supporting notice for him, stating that he is otherwise in excellent health and is doing everything well and is very likely to not have a serious recurrence as long as he keeps up his regular maintenance check-ups.
But he has to face the reality that were he to want to leave this job or were he to be let go, he would not only have trouble getting health care on his own, he wouldn't be able to get life insurance either.
I can understand why a company would decide he wasn't worth the risk, certainly. But just file that away in your mental list of things that suck if you wind up with some hereditary disease.