How Long Will You Live Survey

PART 1 – TAKE HOME – How Long Will You Live Survey

An individual’s life span is determined by many factors, including genetic history, personal health habits, socioeconomic status, and personality. To see how those factors, interact, complete the following life expectancy questionnaire for yourself. The basic life expectancy for American males of all races today is 73.6 years; for females it is 79.4 years. Do NOT combine answers for each question as you fill out the survey. You will do that later. For now, answer each question individually. (You DO NOT need to share Part 1 with me)

Beginning Life Expectancy
__ 1. Longevity of grandparents Add 1 year for each grandparent living beyond age 80. Add one-half year for each grandparent surviving beyond the age of 70. [For example, if one grandparent lived to 81 years of age, & another lived to 73 years of age, the resulting score would be +1.5]

__ 2. Longevity of Parents If your mother lived beyond the age of 80, add 4 years. Add 2 years if your father lived beyond 80.

__ 3. Cardiovascular disease among close relatives If any parent, grandparent, or sibling died from cardiovascular disease before age 50, subtract 4 years for each incidence. If any died from the above before the age of 60, subtract 2 years.

__ 4. Other heritable disease among close relatives If any parent, grandparent, or sibling died before the age of 60 from diabetes or peptic ulcer, subtract 3 years. If any died before 60 from stomach-cancer, subtract 2 years. Women whose close female relatives have died before 60 from breast cancer should also subtract 2 years. Finally, if any close relatives have died before the age of 60 from any cause except accident or homicide, subtract 1 year for each incidence.

__ 5. Childbearing Women who cannot or do not plan to have children, and those over 40 who have never had children, should subtract one0half year. Women who have had over seven children, or plan to, should subtract 1 year.

__ 6. Mother’s age at your birth Was your mother over the age of 35 or under the age of 18 when you were born? If so, subtract 1 year.

__ 7. Birth order Are you the first-born in your family? If so, add 1 year.

__ 8. Intelligence If you feel you are superior in intelligence, add 2 years.

__ 9. Weight If you are more than 30 percent overweight, subtract 5 years. If you are more than 10 percent overweight, subtract 2 years.

__ 10. Dietary Habits If you eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, and usually stop eating before feeling full, add 1 year. If you drink five or more cups of coffee per day, subtract one-half year.

__ 11. Smoking If you smoke two or more packs of cigarettes a day, subtract 12 years. If you smoke between one and two packs a day, subtract 7 years. If you smoke less than a pack a day, subtract 2 years.

__ 12. Drinking If you are a moderate drinker, add 3 years. If you are a light drinker, add 1.5 years. If you are a heavy drinker, subtract 8 years.

__ 13. Exercise If you exercise briskly at least three times a week, add 3 years.

__ 14. Sleep If you sleep more than 10 hours or less than 5 hours a night, subtract 2 years.

__ 15. Sexual Activity If you enjoy sexual activity at least once a week, add 2 years.

__ 16. Regular Physical Examinations If you have an annual physical examination by your physician, add 2 years.

__ 17. Health Status If you have a chronic illness at present, subtract 5 years.

__ 18. Years of Education If you graduated from college, add 4 years. If you attended college but did not graduate, add 2 years. If you graduated from high school but did not attend college, add 1 year. If you have less than an eighth-grade education, subtract 2 years.

__ 19. Occupational Level [former, if retired; spouse’s, if you are not working] Professional, add 1.5 years; technicians, administrators, managers, and agricultural workers, add 1 year; semi-skilled workers should subtract one-half year; laborers should subtract 4 years.

__ 20. Family Income If your family income is above average for your education and occupation, add 1 year. If it is below average for your education and occupations, subtract 1 year.

__ 21. Activity on the Job If your job involves a lot of physical activity, add 2 years. If your job requires that you sit all day, subtract 2 years.

__ 22. Age and work If you are over the age of 60 and still on the job, add 2 years. If you are over the age of 65 and have not retired, add 4 years.

__ 23. Rural vs. Urban Dwelling If you live in an urban area and have lived in or near the city for most of your life, subtract 1 year. If you have spent most of your life in a rural area, add 1 year.

__ 24. Married vs. Divorced If you are married and living with your spouse, add 1 year. Men: If you are separated or divorced and living along, subtract 9 years [not alone: subtract 4 years]. If you are widowed and living alone, subtract 7 years [not alone, subtract 3 years]. Women: If you are separated or divorced and living along, subtract 4 years. If you are widowed and living alone, subtract 3 years. If you are separated, divorced, or widowed and not living along, subtract 2 years.

__ 25. Single Living Alone Unmarried women [living alone or with others] and unmarried men who live with family or friends should subtract 1 year for each unmarried decade past age 25. Unmarried men who live alone should subtract 2 years for each decade after 25.

__ 26. Life Changes If you are always changing things in your life – jobs, residences, friends – subtract 2 years.

__ 27. Friendship If you have at least two close friends in whom you can confide almost all the details of your life, add 1 year.

__ 28. Aggressive Personality If you have an aggressive and sometimes hostile personality, subtract 2 years.

__ 29. Flexible Personality If you are a calm, easygoing, adaptable person, add 2 years. If you are rigid, dogmatic, and set in your ways, subtract 2 years.

__ 30. Risk-taking Personality If you take a lot of risks, including driving without seat belts, exceeding the speed limit, and taking any dare that is made, subtract 2 years. If you use seat belts regularly, drive infrequently, and generally avoid risks and dangerous parts of town, add 1 year.

__ 31. Depressive Personality Have you been depressed, tense, worried, or guilty for more than a period of a year or two? If so, subtract 1 to 3 years depending how seriously you are affected by these feelings.

__ 32. Happy Personality Are you basically happy and content, and have you had a lot of fun in life? If so, add 2 years.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics – United States Department of Health and Human Services.

PART 2 – How Long Will You Live Survey

How Long Will You Live – Follow-Up – Based on the survey you were given in class to complete at home and with your family, please complete the following summary. When completed, answer ALL of the questions below. Be thoughtful and specific with your answers.
Please total the items as follows:
Q 1 – 8 Genetic History _ Q 9 – 18 Personal Health Habits
Q 19 – 22 Socioeconomic Status
Q 23 – 32 Social & Personality Characteristics
TOTAL __

If you are a male, if you have a negative total above, subtract it from 73.6
If you have a positive number above, add it to 73.6 _
If you are a female, if you have a negative total above, subtract it from 79.4
If you have a positive number above, add it to 79.4 _

Based on the results of your individual/family survey, what changes, if any, might you think of making in your current life-style? This is a great time to set some goals for yourself.
Were any of the questions/variable surprising to you in that they seem to have a bearing on longevity? Also, are there any other items you might have including that were missing from the questionnaire? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PART 3: Coping with Death and Dying – Answer all of the questions below:

  1. What kind of ceremony or mourning ritual would you like to have when you die? Why would you choose this particular type of funeral?
  2. What would you want to do if you had only six months to live?
  3. A very close friend is in the hospital with a terminal illness. No one has told her anything about her condition, and the doctors are cheerily reassuring her that she is going to get better. Your friend asks you whether she is dying. What do you say?
  4. How would you explain the death of a grandparent to a seven-year-old child?
  5. Your 40-year-old friend has recently been widowed. What are 3 things you should not say or do, and why?
  6. Knowing that you have a terminal illness, would you prefer to be kept alive for as long as possible by artificial means or to be allowed to die peacefully in a hospice?

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