Navigation Links
Most U.S. Presidents Live Longer Than Their Peers
Date:12/7/2011

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The American presidency comes with perks, from a very nice house to a handy jet at your disposal, but the job also comes with plenty of stress.

Enough stress to take years off your life? Maybe not, new research suggests.

The data showed that presidents who die of natural causes don't seem to lose years off their lives due to the effects of time spent in the White House. In fact, most of them managed to live longer than similar men of their era.

The findings don't prove definitively that stress of the presidency has no effect on the life span of presidents. It may still take years off their lives; the research doesn't compare them to men of similar wealth and position, such as members of Congress.

Still, "they did a lot better than one would have predicted, given the circumstances that they were in," said study author S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "There's no evidence that they're dying earlier."

Olshansky also thinks he's shot down one assumption: that each year in the White House typically takes two years off a president's life. A recent news report about that assumption, prompted by photos that showed the aging of President Obama, led Olshansky to try and see if there was any truth to it.

He was skeptical because presidents share three traits that have been linked to longer life spans: wealth, education and access to health care. "They've scored the trifecta," he said.

Olshansky compared the life spans of presidents who died of natural causes to the life spans of men who were of the same age as the presidents when they were inaugurated. There was a hitch, however, because full American statistics from 1789-1899 weren't available; Olshansky compared presidential life spans in that era to statistics from France, where he thinks men would have lived about as long as in the United States.

Of the 34 who died of natural causes (all except Kennedy, McKinley, Lincoln and Garfield), 23 lived longer than the average man would have, based on their ages at inauguration. They would have lived longer than the average for other men of their era even if they'd somehow aged at twice the normal rate while serving as president.

Commenting on the report, Dr. James Goodwin, director of the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said the idea that presidents will be adversely affected by stress is "fundamentally flawed." Research in animals and some in people suggests that the most dangerous type of stress comes with helplessness, such as "when you're a middle manager and can't change the system," he explained.

"When you're more in charge, it isn't a bad stress," he said.

Goodwin added that presidents aren't like other people. "You're selecting for people with tremendous life force, incredibly energetic, emotionally active and positive people," he said. "They're politicians."

One idea for future research would be to study the losers of presidential elections, who would share many traits with the winners but never actually ended up in the White House, he said.

The research is published in the Dec. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

For more about aging and senior health, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D., professor, public health, University of Illinois at Chicago; James Goodwin, M.D., director, Sealy Center on Aging, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; Dec. 7, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. 3 former Latin American presidents sign Vienna Declaration, join global call to action for science-based drug policy reform
2. Transplant candidates seek best quality livers, even if it means waiting longer
3. Recovery From Concussions in Young Athletes May Take Longer Than Thought
4. Norwegian study finds opening bars longer increases violence
5. Could Happy Lives Be Longer Lives?
6. Live longer with fewer calories
7. Study indicates nanoparticles could help pain-relieving osteoarthritis drugs last longer
8. Rehab helps heart patients live longer -- but they have to show up
9. Muscling toward a longer life: Genetic aging pathway identified in flies
10. More Americans Face Longers Trips to ER
11. Higher radiation dose does not help lung cancer patients live longer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Most U.S. Presidents Live Longer Than Their Peers 
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has ... he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The ... first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... taking part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients ... for an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in ... investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and ... more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June ... receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any ... scholarship winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org ... type 1 diabetes stand in the way of academic ... supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and ... Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, ... report to their offering. ... for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data ... trends with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: