Date: April 1st, 2004
For those of you familiar with the Alliance for Aging Research website, you may have already experienced our most popular interactive feature…the "Living to 100" quiz, a tool that calculates your longevity potential. For veterans of the quiz and for new visitors, we have good news! Based upon the latest research on centenarians, the calculator has been updated in hopes of helping still more people be at least centenarian-like and live well into their older years spending the majority of their lives in good health.
"We know that living to 100 is a personal goal for a vast number of Americans, and that personal behavior has a lot to do with achieving that goal," said the Alliance's executive director, Daniel Perry. "Thanks to new studies by renown experts in longevity research, we are now able to tell visitors to our web site how to know and improve their odds of celebrating their older years in excellent health," said Perry.
Visitors to the quiz can calculate their potential for long life based on both lifestyle choices and heredity. For instance, quiz takers are asked 40 questions, such as whether they currently use tobacco or if they have parents who lived into their 70's.
The test is based on human longevity research conducted by Thomas Perls MD, MPH and his review of epidemiological studies relating to good health at older age. Dr. Perls, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University Medical Center and the lead author of Living to 100: Lessons in Living to Your Maximum Potential at Any Age, worked with the Alliance to update the calculator, first launched in 1999 on the Alliance website. Dr. Perls designed the calculator to translate their studies of centenarians and other longevity research into a practical and empowering tool for individuals to estimate their longevity potential and, based on more recent research, have tweaked the calculator to be even more scientifically based.
"Many people still believe the myth that 'the older you get the sicker you get', when in fact our studies and those of other researchers are revealing that it is much more accurately the case that 'the older you get, the healthier you've been', said Dr. Perls. "This is a dramatically new and empowering way of looking at aging and the calculator is a tool to help people realize what they can do to maximize their health and quality of life well at least 25 years beyond the age of 60!"
Not only does the quiz give you your actual life expectancy, it also provides you with commentary on your answers in hopes of providing useful insight and offering behavioral modifications to maximize your longevity potential.