Website ranks chances of death

Want to know the chances of your death in the near future along with its cause? Well, then log on to – www.deathriskrankings.com

The new website, developed by researchers and students at Carnegie Mellon University, allows users to query publicly available data from the United States and Europe, and compare mortality risks by gender, age, cause of death and geographic region.

The website not only gives the risk of dying within the next year, but it also ranks the probable caused and allows for quick side-by-side comparison between groups. For example, if a person wanted to know who is more likely to die next year from breast cancer – a 54-year old Pennsylvania woman on her counterpart in the United Kingdom.

“This is the only place to look. It turns out that the British woman has a 33 percent higher risk of breast cancer death. But for lung/throat cancer, the results are almost reversed, and the Pennsylvania woman has a 29 percent higher risk,” said Paul Fischbeck, site developer and professor of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy (EPP) at Carnegie Mellon.

“Most Americans do not have a particularly good understanding of their own mortality risks, let alone ranking of their relevant risks,” said David Gerard, a former EPP professor at Carnegie Mellon. They found that beyond infancy, the risk of dying increases annually at an exponential rate.

A 20-year old US woman has a 1 in 2,000 chance of dying in the next year and by 40 years of age, the risk is three times greater, by age 60, it is 16 times greater; and by age 80, it is 100 times greater.

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