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New Test Helps Determine the Risk of Death in the Next Four Years - Dying within 4 years odds quiz for those over the age of 50

February 14th 2006

New Test Helps Determine the Risk of Death in the Next Four Years - Dying within 4 years odds quiz for those over the age of 50

Dr. Sei Lee

A new test is available that may give those over the age of 50 odds of dying within the next 4 years.  The test considers 12 risk factors to determine the participant’s risk. 

The lower the test scores, the lower the odds of dying.  A score of 5 points means your risk of dying in four years is 4%.  A score of 14 points will make the risk rise to 64%.  Just being a man will give you 2 points.  You will get another 2 points for being diabetic or being a smoker.  If you are unable to walk two blocks without getting tired, you will get another 2 points.

The older you are the more points you will get.  Over the age of 60, points will begin to accrue just because of your age.  The researchers warn, don’t try this test at home.  They say a doctor can help you put things into perspective.

 

The quiz was designed to give doctors and families a “firmer sense for what the future may hold”, Lindsey Tanner reports in Forbes Magazine.  Dr. Sei Lee, a geriatrics researcher at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who helped develop it, said “It's a very natural human question of, 'What's going to happen to me?' We also know that doctors are very cautious about giving prognostic information because they don't want to be wrong."

Of course the test is not foolproof.  It does not consider family history, and it is less “meaningful” the younger you are.  But there are a couple things you can do to improve your chances of living at any age.  If you quit smoking and begin an exercise regimen, you will improve your odds for survival.

 

The test was based on data involving 11,701 Americans over 50 who took part in a national health survey in 1998. The report appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. MSN displays the test here.

 
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Dan Wilson
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:50 PM