Middle-Aged? The UbbLE Risk Calculator Will Tell You If You’re Likely To See The Next Five Years

Morbidly-minded scientists have put together a tool called the UbbLE Risk Calculator, which can tell you how statistically likely you are to die in the next five years. The Guardian reports that the tool uses data from the U.K. Biobank to give you what is essentially a risk assessment, giving you a percentage chance of death at the end of it. It’s a grim topic, I know, but the calculator is potentially useful — after all, if it can convince people to change their lifestyles, it could save lives.

The calculator’s only meant to be used by those aged between 40-70, and asks a whole range of questions, some of which, at first glance, seem strange. After you’ve input your age, it’ll ask you whether you’re a man or a woman — men get 13 questions, women get 11. Questions range from how many cars your household has, how many people you live with, who those people are, whether you smoke, and how fast you walk.

As well as your chance of death, the risk calculator will also give you an “UbbLE Age,” which is the age which has a mortality rate most similar to yours. For example, hamming through the calculator, pretending to be a 50-year-old smoker, the UbbLE Age came out as 51, as the theoretical 50-year-old’s risk of dying was most similar to that of a 51-year-old.

The scientists behind the calculator are Andrea Ganna of Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, and Erik Ingelsson of Uppsala University. In their paper, published in the Lancet, the pair said that to their knowledge, this was the first comparative study of its kind.

The risk calculator also comes with a weighty disclaimer, telling users that the calculator can only calculate the risk across the population, and its predictions are not intended for any specific person.

Sky News also quotes Ingelsson stressing the same point.

“Of course, the score has a degree of uncertainty and shouldn’t be seen as a deterministic prediction.”

Twitter users have been responding to the calculator with wonderfully dark humor.

Ingelsson told the Guardian that he believes the risk calculator has great potential as a medical tool, when it’s been researched further.

“The fact that the score can be measured online in a brief questionnaire, without any need for lab tests or physical examination, is an exciting development. We hope that our score might eventually enable doctors to quickly and easily identify their highest risk patients, although more research will be needed to determine whether it can be used in this way in a clinical setting.”

The calculator isn’t the first medically-backed calculator, with the Inquisitr reporting last year on one that calculates a man’s risk of prostate cancer.

Did you take the UbbLE Risk Calculator test, or would you rather not know? If you did, what result did the calculator give you?

[Photo by Adam Berry / Getty Images]