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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, June 24, 2001: Vegetarians in Britain are being offered cheaper life insurance because, it is claimed, they are healthier and less likely to die earlier. They are being given a 25 percent reduction in their monthly premiums. The Animal Friends Insurance (AFI) society is the first to offer the cheaper rates to vegetarians and other companies are expected to follow. In the past, the only significant lifestyle factor that British insurers had taken into account for life policies was smoking. According to Ms. Elaine Fairfax, head of AFI, a succession of studies gives strong indications that vegetarians live longer and are less likely to suffer from serious or chronic illnesses that shorten lives. The company therefore wants to reward vegetarians by giving them cheaper life insurance policies. According to the Vegetarian Society, an exclusively vegetarian diet reduces the risk of some cancers by up to 40 per cent and of heart disease by 30 per cent. The chance of developing kidney and gallstones is also lower and the threat of diet-related diabetes and high blood pressure is minimized.