UNMC longevity calculator estimates how long you will live

Dr. Dejun Su, associate professor and director of Center for Reducing Health Disparities at the UNMC College of Public Health, displays the mapping tab on the Life Expectancy Calculator website that shows the average longevity of Nebraskans by ZIP code.
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Want to know how long you might live — or what you can do to improve your longevity? UNMC now has an app for that.

A team led by UNMC associate professor Dr. Dejun Su, director of Center for Reducing Health Disparities at the UNMC College of Public Health, developed the Life Expectancy Calculator in the hopes that it will encourage Nebraskans to lead healthier lifestyles to prolong their lives.

“It’s a longevity estimate, but more importantly, it tells you what you can do to live longer,” Dr. Su said. "For example, the calculator can estimate how many extra years a smoker can potentially live if he or she quits now.”

TRY IT: Calculate your longevity potential

Estimates of life expectancy were based on 10-year population-based mortality data provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, according to the UNMC release about the new online health tool, which uses an algorithm to predicts a person’s life expectancy based on several factors: age, gender, height, weight, race, home ZIP code, smoking status, amount of exercise, and a healthy eating indicator.

The online application also features a mapping tab showing the average life-expectancy of Nebraskans by ZIP code. The average life expectancy in U.S. is 76 years for men and 81 years for women. In Nebraska, depending on where you live, estimated life expectancy can range from 72 years to 90 years.

"I want to increase public awareness of regional disparities in Nebraska and help direct resources and interventions to vulnerable, underserved communities where they are most needed to achieve better health equity," Dr. Su said.

According to the release, Dr. Ali S. Khan, M.P.H., dean of the College of Public Health, initiated the idea of developing the life-expectancy calculator for Nebraskans.

“The handy little tool is a creative way to serve the health needs of all Nebraskans by reminding us that a large portion of health is a choice," Dr. Khan said. "We hope the tool will help people make healthier choices and be outraged enough about the differences in life expectancy to get involved in their communities and champion solutions."