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CHS Healthy Life Calculator

The longitudinal CHS data were used to create an on-line Healthy Life Calculator that could be used by older adults in the general public. Using CHS data from 1990 to 2013, participants' survival or Years of Life (YOL) was observed or estimated.  In addition, the number of years in which they reported excellent, very good or good health (Years of Healthy Life-YHL) and the number when they were able to perform all the activities of daily living without difficulty (Years of Able Life-YABL) were calculated from the CHS database.  About 200 baseline variables that could easily be answered by the general public were screened to find the best predictors of YOL, YHL, and YABL.  The resulting regression equations were used to create an on-line calculator.
The CHS Healthy Life Calculator is most appropriate for persons who might have met the eligibility criteria for CHS: that is, aged 65 and older, not currently under treatment for cancer, not using wheelchairs at home, and cognitively able to answer questions about their health.
To use the calculator, the person needs to answer 12 questions about the following:
  • age
  • gender
  • current health (excellent to poor)
  • difficulties with (instrumental) activities of daily living
  • shortness of breath
  • doctor-diagnosed diabetes
  • history of myocardial infarction or stroke
  • current number of prescription medications
  • smoking history
  • amount of walking
  • life satisfaction
The calculator can be found at
The supporting paper, published in Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, is available here.