Insurer introduces life expectancy calculator

Apr 19, 2011

Unlike a normal calculator, a new online tool introduced by a leading life insurance company calculates how long a person is expected to live based on their lifestyle.

A new online calculator introduced by a leading life insurance company can help predict a life insurance applicants death, a tool that could encourage an interested buyer to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

The calculator uses the information entered in a questionnaire to analyze the applicants age, lifestyle, medical and family history to calculate life expectancy. The program begins with the user's current age, and then add or subtracts years from their final projected age.

Bob Gleeson, a physician at Medical College in Wisconsin, said the calculator is useful because it can give users immediate feedback on how their lifestyle and history is affecting their health and from there, longevity. Factors that could affect longevity such as weight, eating habits, history of cardiovascular disease, driving record and frequency of doctor consultations are weighed by the program.

Gleeson said practices such as eating multiple daily servings of fruits and vegetables, not smoking, and exercising can increase longevity.

"That group of people has a much lower risk of future disease, a much lower risk of long-term disability, and they're going to live the longest," he said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. life expectancy is now higher than ever. As of 2009, women are expected to live 80.6 years and men 75.7, a slight bump from the year before.

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