Birthday Calculator

A friend posted a picture of her grandmother celebrating her 103rd birthday this week – that’s some milestone! Since my birthday is also in April, I got to thinking about the odds of reaching three digits.

I found this interesting online calculator that gives you an estimate of your likelihood to reach the century mark: The doctor who hosts it – Doctor Thomas Perls from Boston University – has tried to put together a questionnaire of all of the key inputs like health history, genetics, nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle factors. (It’s free, but does require you input a email address, although you can opt out of mailings)

I can’t tell you if it is accurate, but it does seem to be very complete in analyzing relevant inputs. My result was that I would live to roughly age 88. That seemed to be a pretty good result. My Dad just turned 89 in February. It’s also 6 years longer than what Social Security has for me, based only on my sex & age.

Give it a test. Let me know what you think of the calculator. Was the output what you expected?

Image Credit: Pixabay

12 thoughts on “Birthday Calculator

  1. I just ran mine mine and one thought I came away with is that you could use the calculator to model making positive changes to see if they increase your longevity and health. The calculator is also interesting in that it baked in some middle ground, such as people can still drink some and eat some red meat, instead of the normal all or none.

    One area in particular stood out to me. The Height and Weight questions went beyond BMI and factored in weight training. According to traditional BMI, Michael Jordan would have been considered obese when he was playing in his prime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree – I thought about tweaking the inputs a bit to see which variables were particularly sensitive. I wish it had a simple way to edit inputs at the end. It looked like you’d have to go back in from the beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Check out the this website.

        This was a National Geographic Study that identified six regions of the world where people live longer and healthier.

        Try plugging in a Mediterranean Diet with a little more exercise including weight lifting which will lower blood pressure, and increase HDL and see if that improves your score.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I noticed they asked for your country & zip code. I guess they count that in the analysis. I actually have very good blood pressure, but low HDL. The low HDL runs in my family and they say is 90%+ genetic.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There is retrieve feedback button that is greyed so that it looks like it is inactive. The feedback tells you some changes to make that will bump your score. Mine were not life altering. Take a baby aspirin daily, take a calcium with vitamin D supplement, wear sunscreen more often, and get my diastolic (the lower one below) from 84 to 80. Increased my age by six years.

        And most important, I can still have an adult beverage everyday.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Those ‘feedback button’ recommendations didn’t help me very much either. I also re-ran the analysis with inputs saying I had a stressful, busy job. Didn’t change my life expectantcy at all. Not even one year.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My age was 98 before plugging in the recommendations, and 103 afterwards. When I was in high school, my father gave me book titled, “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie.” The gist of the book is that doctors are not a good source of health advice, and the average age of mortality for doctors is 50. I also read the Pritikin Diet in 1989.

    I don’t have perfect genetics as evidenced by my father (who gave me the book) had a heart attack at age 32, and will be having his 88th birthday this year. His dad, my grandfather, dropped dead of a massive heart attack at age 45.

    Here are some of the keys to think about:
    1) Take that cute dog Riley for a least a hour walk everyday. I call my dogs, my personal trainers and find their sheer joy highly motivating.
    2) Integrate walking and exercise into your routine. When I go shopping at an outdoor mall, I park my car and typically walk to Walmart, Home Depot, and Ralph’s. My all time high water mark for walking was setting up for a trade show and staging the booth that I drove to the show myself in my van. You will be very surprised the steps, miles, and time your will rack up this way, and will have a hard time matching it by ‘exercising’.
    3) Lift weights, it raises your HDL.
    4) Eat a Mediterranean Diet featuring greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Drink wine. Eat fish especially wild caught salmon and trout. Eat avocados, grape fruit, and beans. The fish and avocado will increase your HDL. The grapefruits will decrease your LDL. My grandfather who retired at age 50 on dividend paying stocks and lived to age 96 ate a lot of grapefruit (he put sugar on it, yuck!) and took care of a couple acres himself in Penn Hills on mountain goat property.
    5) I answered Good stress management because I use stress management techniques that I learned around 1989.
    6) I never drank sodas or other sugary drinks including orange juice growing up. My beverages are water, black coffee, and unsweetened ice tea.
    7) I eat very little processed foods, sugar and white carbohydrates. We have desserts only for birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For four people we use around 5 pounds of sugar a year. The key is buy most of your food from the perimeter of the grocery store, and avoid the processed food from the center aisles.

    Here is what is what I found interesting about the calculator:
    1) It didn’t subtract years for BMI. I have been lifting weights since I was 16. My doctor, who by the way, has a much bigger gut tells me my BMI is too high.
    2) I have one or two drinks every single day. My wife the RN tells me this also increases your HDL. Doctors don’t like the having a couple drinks everyday.
    3) I eat red meat in moderation.
    4) Hamburgers are better than hot dogs because they are less processed.

    I will be interested in reading if any of this bumps your score.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – 98 to 103! That’s amazing. My mom took it and got a 99 (she’s 83 now). The older you are, the higher the expectancy, so I’m not too disappointed with 88 right now, since that’s 33 years of opportunity.

      Here’s my ‘standing’ on your ‘keys’ …
      1. Riley gets 3 walks a day between my wife and I. I’m super busy with activities: Monday hike/walk/waterfall; Tuesday tennis; Wednesday league softball, Thursday tennis, Friday walk/bike/misc, lots of projects around the house & weekend activities!
      2. I’ve closed my Apple Watch every single day for 2+ years.
      3. Started lifting weights after my heart attack 2 years ago. Could bulk up more.
      4. I don’t eat red meat much, but good restaurant food is certainly a weak spot!
      I could get 3-4 years on eating better alone!
      5. Zero stress. Really, zero.
      6. I have 1 Diet Coke a day. Mostly skim milk & juice. No coffee, little alcohol.
      7. The center aisles of the store are how MegaCorp got me to FIRE by 49! 😉

      Fun exercise!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like you made some positive changes, since your heart attack. That was probably the reason my father gave me, “Dead Doctors don’t Lie” when I was in high school. Not your typical high school read.

        I removed coffee and alcohol from my answers and the score dropped by 4. If you parents make it to their predicted age, that will bump your score. Two of my Grandparents made it to 96. If one had made it to a 100, it would add four years to the score. The other question that seems to be setting you up for the score increase is getting beyond two years with the heart attack with positive changes.

        I bet you are seeing some positive changes since you started lifting weights. Amazing things happen when you first start, and then you hit the point of diminishing returns.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Honestly, lifting weights (just 10# dumbbells) is one of the few changes I’ve made. I also eat two salads a week – which is about 104 more a year than I used to. Unfortunately, I’ve gained about 10#s on the heart medications.

        I’m surprised they don’t include compliance to medications as one of the questions. I had lunch with the CEO of Pfizer once and he told me that 80% of people that have medications prescribed stop taking them after a few months. He said his very big company could be 5x bigger if they could solve that!

        Liked by 1 person

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