Quiz Clues You in to a Longer Life

Answering a few simple questions could give you information that could prove death-defying!

Longevity expert Dr. Thomas Perls developed an on-line quiz called the Healthspan Calculator. It aims to let people know their life expectancy, and give them advice on how to improve their numbers.

Dr. Perls says healthy people live to about age 88, so that's the starting point. From there, women generally live ten years longer than men. Several lifestyle questions also help you gain and lose years. For example, he says, smoking automatically knocks off 15 years.

Dr. Eric Voth of Topeka's Cotton-O'Neil Clinic says plugging in your answers can be helpful.

"Quizzes like this bring you face to face with your own reality," he said.

Some of the questions may seem irrelevant, like whether or not you have family living nearby. But Dr. Voth says they have to do with whether you're living under tension and have good support systems. He also likes the question about whether you wear a seatbelt. He says there's not only evidence that seatbelts make you less likely to die in an accident, but there's also evidence that if you pay attention to wearing a seatbelt, you're more likely to pay attention to other good health actions.

Whether you take a quiz or not, Dr. Voth says you can always do things to help yourself.

"If you have a great family history, don't do things to negate it," he said. "If you have a bad family history, do things to turn it around."

Dr. Voth says one downside of the quiz is it doesn't ask much about existing health problems you have yourself, like heart disease.

To take the quiz, log on to www.livingto100.com.


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