Top Job For Gray Hair?

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President Barack Obama  (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Recent Blog Entries From Dr. Dave Hnida


Written by Dr. Dave Hnida CBS4 Medical EditorTake think things like unemployment, plummeting stocks, and war — and it would seem like you have the perfect recipe for an unmeasurable amount of stress for the person running the show.

Seriously, think of being president, and you’ve got to wonder if it’s the super highway to an early grave. I mean, look at the before and after pictures: gray hair, stress lines, baggy eyes. That tired look. It has got to beat up the body.

But a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says: not so fast. Presidents actually tend to live longer than men of the same age.

In fact, of the last eight Presidents, seven have lived beyond their projected life span to an average age of almost 82. And that average is actually skewed since Lyndon Johnson died prematurely at age 64 back in 1984. The rest have lived, and thrived in their older age.

80304893 Top Job For Gray Hair?

Barack Obama in March 2008 (credit: BRAD COVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

No question the stress while in office may not seem like such a good thing, but in the long run, presidents tend to thrive on the pressures of the job (as well as enjoying financial security, top-notch medical care, and the benefits of, on average, 16 years of extra education.) And they stay super active after leaving office, showing that the advice to slow down and take it easy may not be the best retirement advice.

And this info isn’t exactly new, we just never looked at it and did the math. The first eight presidents of our great nation were almost 80 when they died — during a time when the average life expectancy for a male was a tad over 35.

Finally, if you think the before and after pictures tell the story, take a look at what you looked like 8 years ago. Just the stress of everyday life can take its toll.

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