Will You Live Until 2020? Ask the 'Death Calculator'
Questionnaire reveals risk factor for short-term life expectancy
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2015 10:50 AM CDT
Updated Jun 7, 2015 6:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – The question of when we'll die is a fascinating one, but no one really knows the answer. Thanks to researchers, however, men and women aged 40 to 70 can now learn their risk of dying in the next five years via a simple questionnaire, dubbed the Ubble test. Scientists say that by answering the questions (13 for men, 11 for women), respondents can get a percentage risk factor for death that's 80% accurate, the Guardian and Telegraph report. As the test explains, "If the risk of dying within five years is 2%, this means that out of 100 people of the same age, sex, and risk profile, 98 will survive and two will die over the next five years." Among the topics the questions touch on: how many cars you own, and the speed of your walking pace.

Those questions are based on 655 measures that can influence the risk of premature death, uncovered using data collected on 500,000 Britons over the years 2006 to 2010, Reuters reports. That data source makes for a noteworthy caveat for would-be American test-takers. The test warns that the calculator "will only provide accurate estimations for men and women ... living in the UK." Still, it's an interesting exercise, and the calculator also gives one's "Ubble age"; any number above a person's real age should be a red flag. "We hope that our score might eventually enable doctors to quickly and easily identify their highest risk patients," a researcher says. "Of course, the score has a degree of uncertainty and shouldn't be seen as a deterministic prediction." (Another way to test your risk of death: squeeze something.)