Most US presidents exceed their life expectancy

The CBS Evening News reported, “Excluding the four Presidents who were assassinated, most of America’s Chief Executives have exceeded their life expectancy,” according to a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

NBC Nightly News reported that the study “says compared to most folks our former Presidents are healthy, wealthy and wise, and they may get gray hair before our very eyes, but most of them are built to last.”

USA Today reports that S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois in Chicago, “aimed to verify or shoot down speculation that presidents while in office age twice as fast as other men.”

Olshansky “estimated presidential life spans on the day each was inaugurated and compared those predictions to how long they actually lived.”

The research indicated that “23 of 34 presidents who died of natural causes lived beyond the average life expectancy for men of the same age, even if they experienced accelerated aging.”

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports, “all but 10 of the presidents had … a college education, wealth and access to the best medical care at the time.” Research has “linked these three factors to longevity.”

Politico reports, “Olshansky noted that the average age at inauguration was 55, so presidents had already survived ‘the most perilous early years of life.’ And the education and wealth factors – what today we would call social determinants of health – may have been even more important in the past than today.”

The AP reports, “The four former presidents still alive have already lived longer than predicted, or likely will because they’re in good health, the study said.”

Being “that most of the 43 men who have served as president have been college-educated, wealthy and had access to the best doctors, their long lives are actually not that surprising,” according to Olshansky.

Bloomberg News reports, “Concerns that the presidency may be aging the men who hold the office at a rapid rate have risen only with the arrival of television and the ability for the country to see the nation’s chief executive on a daily basis.”

 

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