Early death: The price for head of govt`s seat

Washington D.C, Dec 15 (ANI): A new study has linked the election to head of government to an increased risk of early death compared with runner-up candidates.

However, a second study finds that in the UK, mortality among members of Parliament (MPs) and members of the House of Lords (Lords) was up to 37 percent lower than that of the general population over the past 65 years.

In the first study, a team of US researchers set out to test the theory that politicians elected to head of government may experience accelerated aging and premature death due to stress of leadership and political life.

They compared survival of 279 nationally elected leaders from 17 countries with 261 unelected candidates who never served in office, from 1722 to 2015.

They then measured the number of years alive after each candidate’s last election, relative to what would be expected for an average individual of the same age and sex as the candidate during the year of the election.

After adjusting for life expectancy at time of last election, elected leaders lived 2.7 fewer years and had a 23 percent increased risk of death than runners-up.

The researchers point out some study limitations, but conclude that “heads of government had substantially accelerated mortality compared to runner-up candidates” and suggest that “elected leaders may indeed age more quickly.”

The results also show that MPs first elected at age 60 or more had lower relative mortality than MPs who were elected when younger, while long serving MPs went on to live longer lives than other MPs.

The authors conclude that social inequalities are alive and well in UK parliamentarians, and at least in terms of mortality, MPs are likely to have never had it so good.

The study appears in The BMJ. (ANI)

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