Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Friday, February 17, 2006

Predicting death

How long will I live? Except for those with teminal illnesses, there is no way to answer that accurately. But you might be able to get an answer to the related question “how likely is it that I’ll die in the next 4 years.”

A study in JAMA this week looks at a point system to predict 4 year mortality in older adults. You get points for being old, having chronic diseases, etc. as follows:
Now total up your points and risk of death of dying in the next 4 years is as follows:

0-5 pts <4%
6-9 pts 15%
10-13 pts 42%
14+ pts 64%

Note that being normal or underweight increased mortality, whereas a high BMI (i.e. being overweight or obese) is associated with decreased mortality. One reason may be that people tend to lose weight from chronic diseases like cancer and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), but it may also be, as I've blogged on before, that current weight categories based on BMI don't reflect actual health status.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Fascinating. So until i'm 65, i have less than a 4% chance of death. So, until then, i can eat as much as i want, sleep around, etc., without introducing any risk whatever!

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes! a chance to slob around eat the goodness of kit kat bar, a nik nak heart attack and my favourite the blob job slob.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Buy Generic Viagra said...

this is perfect, now I know in what way I gonna die, awesome, beside that I have to live with the idea of the death all the days, now I know how I gonna die.

At 3:18 AM, Anonymous make hair grow faster said...

how can you predict death... there is no way u can do that doctor

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