A new study found that political leaders age faster than normal and that the stress of the job may reduce three years off their life expectancy.
Researchers led by Anupam Jena, an associate professor in health care policy at Harvard Medical School, looked at the age of death among 279 nationally-elected leaders in 17 Western countries, from 1722 to 2015.
‘Candidates who are elected to head of government age faster and are at greater risk for premature death.’
AdvertisementThis was compared with 261 runner-ups in the election who never served in that office.
In Britain and other parliamentary democracies, the researchers looked at politicians who served as party leaders at the time of their election to the legislature.
After adjusting for life expectancy at the time of the last election, elected heads of government lived 2.7 years less than non-elected rivals.
"We found that heads of governments had substantially accelerated mortality compared with runner-up candidates," says the study.
"Our findings suggest that elected leaders may indeed age more quickly."