Being a president can be quite stressful; or so it seems. There are numerous decisions a president has to make, extremely stressful in the majority of the cases. The common assumption is that presidents have a shorter life span than the average people, because of the high level of stress.
Presidents live longer
However, a new study conducted in the United States of America, revealed the fact that the majority of the presidents actually lived longer than the average American men. On top of that, all the living ex-presidents have surpassed the average expected life span of an American male. S. Jay Olshansky, an expert on aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago was the leader of the study. He concluded that 23 out of the 34 presidents who died because of natural causes managed to live over the average life expectancy for men of the same age during the times when their times. His findings were published on Wednesday, in The journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Olshansky became interested in the topic when he heard in the news that President Obama was showing signs of aging quickly than the rest of the men. The observers stated that he has gray hair, and bags under his eyes, which are a result of the work related stress. In the past years, people even assumed that the presidents, age twice faster than the regular American man during the years they live in the White House.
Dr. Olshansky spent 25 years researching life expectancy, so it could be said that he was an expert in the domain. He did not believe that being president could have such a huge impact on one’s life, so he decided to investigate the topic. A specialist in biodermography, the study of factors that influence the duration of life, he decided to collect the necessary data for the subject. He used public data and standard life tablets in order to calculate how long each of them was expected to live during those times. Four presidents were assassinated, so they were not included in the study.
The average life of a President
It seems that the average life of the presidents was 81.6 years, which was higher than the one of the regular American men. However, it seems that many former American presidents were actually worried about the fact that they were aging prematurely. In order to hide these signs, they dyed their hair. Reagan was one of them; the president had his own hair colorist at the White House.
Regarding the grayness of the hair, and the bags under the eyes, Dr. Olshansky said that they are common at that age, regardless of the job. People who do nothing all day, suffer from the same side effects, so the stress is not a very important factor. Four of them managed to live into their nineties, the first eight living an average of 79.8, when the life expectancy for an American man was under 40. It seems that being a president is not so bad after all.