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Chart-toppers, sports stars and actors are generally in about as good nick as a human can be, right? Oh so wrong says a new medical journal study which says other high-achievers fare much better in the living long stakes.

Famous people of the musical, stage and field varieties live up to seven and a half years less than the likes of military top brass.

It’s no shock with the musos, with legends such as Presley, Hendrix, Winehouse, Cobain and Morrison taken far too young from this earth, but sporting heroes?

Aussie researchers from St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney used information from New York Times obituaries published between 2009 and 2011.

They operated on the assumption that if they warranted an NYT obit, they lived a life that was successful in some field.

They found performers, such as actors and singers, died youngest, with an average death at 77 years and one month.

Military personal were the longest lived with an average 84 years and 8 months – but obviously the ones who live long enough to make the obit pages are the ones who didn’t meet their fate on the battlefield.

Sporty champs died at an average 77 years and 5 months, with writers about a year longer in the tooth.

Notable businesspeople and politicians were nearer the older end of the spectrum said the study in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine.

Researchers said the younger deaths were due to accidents and infections while lung cancer was often linked to performers as a result of smoking.

Professor Richard Epstein, of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, said: ‘First, if it is true that successful performers and sports players tend to enjoy shorter lives, does this imply that fame at younger ages predisposes to poor health behaviours in later life after success has faded? 

‘Or that psychological and family pressures favouring unusually high public achievement lead to self-destructive tendencies throughout life?”

Indeed.


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Actors, singers and sportsmen die before fellow high achievers, say Aussie researchers
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