Fame may lead to a shorter life

London, April 20 (IANS) A glittering career in the public eye may come at the cost of a shorter life, according to an analysis of newspaper obituaries.

The study found that performers and sports stars tend to die a few years younger than people successful in other careers, BBC reported.

Though the researchers said the study does not provide any conclusive answers, but it asked interesting questions about the cost of fame.

According to the study published in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, experts in Australia looked at 1,000 obituaries in the New York Times between 2009 and 2011.

They showed that actors, singers and musicians, as well those who made a career in sport died the youngest – at an average age of 77.

Writers, composers and artists died at 79 while academics, including historians and economists, survived until 82. Those in business or politics lived upto 83.

The researchers, at the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales, said cancer, particularly tumours in the lungs, was more common in performers.

Professor Richard Epstein said that, whatever the reason, the findings should be considered as a “health warning to young people aspiring to become stars”.

Honey Langcaster-James, a psychologist who specialises in celebrity behaviour, said so few people achieved star status that it made it difficult to scientifically study the effect on people’s lives.

“The results are interesting of themselves as they suggest an inherent hazard of a public career and that all that glitters is not necessarily gold. They may be paying a high price for their career,” she said.

However, she said it was not easy to come up with a scientific explanation.

On the one hand she said such a career “has unique stressors” such as “the pressure to live up to a public image, which can lead to risky behaviours”.

Yet she suspected that “particular personal characteristics predispose people to wanting a career in the public arena”, which may also lead to lifestyle choices affecting health.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Rudy Haugeneder

    Increasingly, as we baby boomers age, we seniors are becoming the biggest and most powerful political and economic group ever created, and that, more than anything should keep us somewhat mentally active.  Of course, with we seniors soon to account for at least 20% of the total Western nation population, and an expensive drain (despite our cumulative wealth) on health and other social services, that may evolve into a horror show of sorts — mandatory euthanasia, the philosophy of ancient Sardinians who pushed their elders off the cliffs when they were no longer useful which it might evolve is something that  “the more than half” of people 85 suffering from some form of dementia might actually desire: Yes, Desire rather than painfully rotting to death.

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