The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday November 26th

Study: U.S. presidents often outlive their life expectancy

LOS ANGELES (MCT) — Do U.S. presidents really age twice as fast as the rest of us while they occupy the Oval Office?

Dr. Michael Roizen says the answer is yes.

In the days leading up to President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Roizen told CNN that “The typical person who lives one year ages one year. The typical president ages two years for every year they are in office.”

This caught the eye of S. Jay Olshansky, a sociologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health. Olshansky decided to put Roizen’s claim to the test with actual data.

Of the 34 presidents who died of natural causes, 23 lived longer than his modified life expectancy (the one that took account of his supposed accelerated aging while serving as commander in chief).

Olshansky calculated that for these presidents, their average estimated age at death was 67.0 years, but in real life they lived to an average age of 78.0 years.

For the 11 presidents who died before reaching their estimated life expectancy (which was 67.8 years, on average), their average age at actual death was 62.1 years.

So U.S. presidents lived longer than expected in about two-thirds of cases.

In addition, Olshansky noted, “all living presidents have either already exceeded the estimated life span of all U.S. men at their age of inauguration or are likely to do so.”

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