- Posted on December 7, 2011 at 12:17pm by Liz Klimas
CHICAGO (The Blaze/AP) — It is a widely held belief that U.S. presidents have an extremely stressful job. Within months of entering office, people began to call attention to President Barack Obama’s rapidly graying hair. Even First Lady Michelle has made mention of the salt and peppering of her husband’s hair, saying earlier this year that it was “proof” he was doing well and “earning every last one of those gray hairs.”
As if graying wasn’t enough, many people think that the stress level associated with the presidency is linked to a shorter lifespan. But a new study is showing the complete opposite, finding many U.S. commanders in chief have actually lived longer than their peers.
Using life expectancy data for men the same age as presidents on their inauguration days, the study found that 23 of 34 presidents who died of natural causes lived several years longer than expected.
The four former presidents still alive have already lived longer than predicted, or likely will because they’re in good health, the study said.
“The graying of hair and wrinkling of the skin seen in presidents while they’re in office are normal elements of human aging,” said study author S. Jay Olshansky, a researcher on aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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