Do seniors really want to know life expectancy?

Kim Painter
USA Today

That may not be a question many elderly adults come right out and ask their doctors. But a lot of them would like to know the answer, says Alexander Smith, an assistant professor of geriatrics at the University of California-San Francisco.

That’s what most elderly adults told Smith and his colleagues in a recent study. And he has another piece of evidence: More than half a million people — many clearly not doctors — have visited a website he and other researchers launched just five weeks ago called ePrognosis (eprognosis.org).

On the site: 16 questionnaires that can roughly predict the survival odds of older adults, over periods ranging from six months to five years. These “prognosis calculators” remain under study and were designed for use by doctors and other health professionals.

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