Performers Live Shorter Lives Than Other Celebs

They can expect to live to 77: study

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 18, 2013 8:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you crave a long life in the spotlight, become a ... CEO. Researchers perused 1,000 New York Times obituaries from between 2009 and 2011 in a bid to glean some conclusions about the life expectancy of celebs, the BBC reports. What they found, in terms of average life expectancy:

  • military, 84.7 years
  • business, 83.3 years
  • politics, 82.1 years
  • authors, composers, artists, 78.5 years
  • athletes, 77.4 years
  • performers, 77.1 years
To put it all in context, the average US life expectancy was estimated to be 78.49 in 2012.

Performers and sports stars also suffered higher cancer death rates than their famous peers, researchers found: Some 7.2% of them were killed by lung cancer, Pacific Standard reports, a figure that "approximated the national average." Though the researchers admit that "a one-off retrospective analysis like this can't prove anything," they do think it sparks some good questions: For instance, does fame prompt "self-destructive tendencies"? Or do "risk-taking personality traits" boost "chances of success"?

In this Feb. 16, 2007 file photo, British singer Amy Winehouse poses for photographs after being interviewed by the AP at a studio in north London.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
Jimmy Carter speaks with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at City Hall in New York. He's 88.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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