The following life-expectancy quiz is one of many health questionnaires now used by doctors, medical centers and insurance groups. While quizzes can hardly be precise, they do give a more realistic picture of probable longevity than old-fashioned actuarial tables which relied almost exclusively on the subject's heredity patterns and medical history. Current computations try to measure risk in relation to environment, stress and general behavior though statisticians and experts do not always agree on how to weigh the components. A high salary may not be as detrimental to longevity - because of competitive stress - as many quizzes suggest. On the other hand, marriage or living together, usually assumed to increase one's chances of living longer, may actually increase stress, especially for notably embattled partners. National average life spans : 70.5 for white males, 65.3 for all other males, 78.1 for white females, 74 for all other females.


Personal facts :

If you are male, subtract 3.

If female, add 4.

If you live in an urban area with a population over 2 million, subtract 2.

If you live in a town under 10,000 or on a farm, add 2.

If any grandparent lived to 85, add 2.

If all four grandparents lived to 80, add 6.

If either parent died of a stroke or heart attack before the age of 50, subtract 4.

If any parent, brother or sister under 50 has (or had) cancer or a heart condition, or has had diabetes since childhood, subtract 3.

Do you earn over $50,000 a year? Subtract 2.

If you finished college, add 1. If you have a graduate or professional degree, add 2 more.

If you are 65 or over and still working, add 3.

If you live with a spouse or friend, add 5. If not, subtract 1 for every ten years alone since age 25.

Running Total 

Life-style status :

If you work behind a desk, subtract 3.

If your work requires regular, heavy physical labor, add 3.

If you exercise strenuously (tennis, running, swimming, etc.) five times a week for at least a half-hour, add 4. Two to three times a week, add 2.

Do you sleep more than ten hours each night? Subtract 4.

Are you intense, aggressive , easily angered? Subtract 3.

Are you easygoing and relaxed? Add 3.

Are you happy? Add 1. Unhappy? Subtract 2.

Have you had a speeding ticket in the past year? Subtract 1.

Do you smoke more than two packs a day? Subtract 8. One to two packs ? Subtract 6. One-half to one? Subtract 3.

Do you drink the equivalent of 1.5 oz. of liquor a day? Subtract 1.

Are you overweight by 50 lbs or more? Subtract 8. By 30 to 50 lbs? Subtract 4. By 10 to 30 lbs? Subtract 2.

If you are a man over 40 and have annual checkups, add 2.

If you are a woman and see a gynecologist once a year, add 2.

Running Total 

Age adjustment :

If you are between 30 and 40, add 2.

If you are between 40 and 50, add 3.

If you are between 50 and 70, add 4.

If you are over 70, add 5.

Add up your score

to get your life expectancy. 

From the book Lifegain, by Robert F. Allen, Ph D., Appleton Books Inc.



You overlooked one important ingredient in the "How long will you live?" quiz, namely : if you have one teen-ager, subtract 2. If you have two, subtract 4. If you have three or more, subtract 10.

Derrick A. Anderson

Santa Ana, Calif

Recent studies show that people who have pets have a better chance for health and longevity than people who don't. Having three dogs, a cat and twelve birds, I took the liberty of adding three points to my score of 98 and reached 101, the time I need to accomplish all the things in life I wish to do.

Evajean Cusack

Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Four of us communal-living, celibate, nonsmoking, diet-conscious Franciscan friars took TIME's life-expectancy quiz conjointly. It was a puzzlement. Friar No. 1, reasoning he lived with neither spouse nor friend, subtracted 1 point. Friar No. 2, claiming Friar No. 1 as his friend, added 5. Friar No. 3, a happy sort (add 1), was unhappy (subtract 2) that Friar No. 1 was friendless. Friar No. 4, to his consternation, had passed on last year.

(The Rev.) Edgar Holden,

O.F.M. Conv., New York City



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