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New Mortality Test Worries Some

New Mortality Test Worries Some
By: The Associated Press

Chicago, IL - Can your risk of dying be measured by a simple quiz? Some researchers think so.

They've come up with 12 risk factors for people 50 and older that could determine their chances of dying within four years.

The quiz assigns points for risk factors, so the goal is a low score. Zero to five points says your risk of dying in four years is less than four percent. With 14 points, your risk rises to 64 percent. Just being male gives you two points. So does having diabetes, being a smoker, and getting pooped trying to walk several blocks.

Critics point out the test doesn't take into account diet, blood pressure, cholesterol or family history, which can be important factors. Their report appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Below you will see the quiz - it is recommended that if you take this you share the results with your doctor befor taking any action.

What's your risk of death?

1. Age: 60-64 years old = 1 point; 65-69 = 2 points; 70-74 = 3 points; 75-79 = 4 points; 80-84 = 5 points; 85 and older = 7 points.

2. Male or Female: Male = 2 points.

3. Body-Mass Index: Less than 25 (normal weight or less) = 1 point. (BMI = weight in pounds divided by height in inches squared, multiplied by 703.)

4. Diabetes: 2 points.

5. Cancer (excluding minor skin cancers): 2 points.

6. Chronic lung disease that limits activities or requires oxygen use at home: 2 points.

7. Congestive heart failure: 2 points.

8. Cigarette smoking in the past week: 2 points.

9. Difficulty bathing/showering because of a health or memory problem: 2 points.

10. Difficulty managing money, paying bills, keeping track of expenses because of a health or memory problem: 2 points.

11. Difficulty walking several blocks because of a health problem: 2 points.

12. Difficulty pushing or pulling large objects like a living room chair because of a health problem: 1 point.

Score: 0 to 5 points = less than a 4 percent risk of dying; 6-9 points = 15 percent risk; 10-13 points = 42 percent risk; 14 or more points = 64 percent risk.

Source: San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center

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