Washington, D.C. – People age 100 or older are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. The newly updated “Living To 100” calculator can help still more people be at least centenarian-like and live well into their older years spending the majority of their lives in good health, according to the Alliance for Aging Research.

“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 www.agingresearch.org can take an on-line quiz to 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!”

The Alliance for Aging Research is the nation’s leading citizen advocacy organization for improving the health and independence of Americans as they age. Their website has been given awards and high praise for its quality health content. It has received the World Wide Web Mature Media Merit Award in the Community Organizations category as well as two APEX Awards for Publication Excellence.