Roughly half of both men and women who purchased individual critical illness insurance were younger than age 45, according to research from the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance and General Re Life Corp.

"While the majority of critical illness insurance sales continue to be made in the worksite setting, sales to individuals are increasing as awareness grows," says Jesse Slome, AACII executive director.

Researchers analyzed data from 10 leading critical illness insurers, which accounted for more than 57,200 purchasers of individual critical illness insurance policies made between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.

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