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Being president of the government shortens life, according to a study

Being president of the government shortens life, according to a study

May 19, 2024

The general elections of which the next president of the Kingdom of Spain will be elected are around the corner, and four candidates are running as heads of government.

But Mariano Rajoy, Pablo Iglesias, Albert Rivera and Pedro Sánchez should pay attention to the following lines, as recent research seems to indicate that becoming president of a nation shortens life .

Does being president shorten life expectancy?

So, since only one of the four can win the elections, those who do not have the fortune of being elected as top representatives of the executive branch will have at least one reason to smile.


It is not the first study in this line of research

There has been a debate for some time now about whether government presidents have less life expectancy, and science has carried out different investigations to confirm or disprove this hypothesis . For example, one study stated that presidents age twice as fast as people who do not hold this position. On the other hand, another study did not find any kind of relationship between premature aging and the position of head of government.

Anyway, just look at some pictures of government presidents at the beginning and end of their mandates to realize that their physical deterioration is evident. One of the most commented cases is that of ex-socialist president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero . In the image on the left, the president of the eyebrow with 48 years. In the one on the right, 55 years old (current photograph). Does not it seem like more time has passed?


Recently, this new research has put this debate back on the table. For this, he has examined the electoral processes carried out in 17 countries from 1722 to 2015. The results seem to indicate that the presidents of the government live an average of 2.7 years less and they experience a 23% higher risk of suffering an untimely death than the person in the head of the opposition. Presidents like Barak Obama or Rafael Correa should take note of these results.

A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)

The research appears in a special Christmas edition of British Medical Journal (BMJ). Its Christmas edition each year has rare themes, but despite that, they have a solid scientific basis.

"We are certain that there are differences between the mortality of the presidents of the state and that of their rivals, that is to say that the heads of government age faster," says Anupam Jena, author of the study and professor at Harvard University and the Hospital. General of Massachusetts (United States). The study also included Andrew Olesku, a researcher at the same university, and Matthew Abola, a medical student at Case Western Reserve University.


The authors did something new regarding past research

Although it is not a new topic, the authors of the research did something different to quantify the hypothesis, since it is difficult to verify. Instead of comparing a president or a prime minister with the general population, they compared the data of the presidents with their opponents . This was done because if we compare the presidents, who are usually people of high social status, with the rest of the people, there could be an important bias, that is, that the results obtained would not be significant.

In addition, the researchers also broadened their focus after comparing the heads of government of 17 relatively stable countries in the Western democracies, instead of limiting the study to presidents of the United States. It is important to note that the investigators did not take into account dictators, but democratically elected presidents. It is clear, but that we should also check with presidents from other continents, such as Latin Americans or Asians.

The cause could be the stress that presidents suffer

The authors of the study acknowledged that n or they could find the exact reasons why presidents do not live that long as your rivals. But it is possible that the cause is stress. "His schedule and his frenetic pace of work causes presidents to have difficulties in carrying out a healthy lifestyle. They find it difficult to carry on a routine of healthy eating and physical exercise "concludes Anupam Jena.

Being a politician can be a job that wears a lot. Continuous travel, problems that affect an entire country, continuous exposure to the public eye, etc. Therefore, being president of the government can have its good things, but it is also a very big responsibility, which can be stressful.


Intense jogging may shorten life span, study shows (May 2024).


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