Of 3 types of actors, stand-up comedians face greatest health risks

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

Researchers found stand-up comedians are more likely to die younger than traditionally comedic or dramatic actors, according to report by Bill Adam at Good Morning Health News.

A study published in the International Journal of Cardiology analyzed data from 200 stand-up comedians, 114 comedic actors and 184 dramatic actors.

Researchers concluded that there was a "significant gradient in the age of death," with stand-up comedians dying at the age of 67.1. Comedic actors, on the other hand, traditionally died around the age of 68.9. Dramatic actors generally passed away around 70.7 years old, according to the study.

The research also suggested that comedians with the highest ratings for their comedic ability faced an increasing risk of premature death.

One potential factor to explain why laughter kills is that stand up comedians are more likely to display psychotic traits, including manic-depression and schizophrenic features, according to the report.

Researchers said environmental triggers also play a significant role. Low income and job security, as well as years of working in such a highly competitive profession, may lead stand-up comedians to feel increasingly stressed even after finding success.

In contrast, comedic and dramatic actors "are more likely to have attained some degree of financial security…[which] benefits [overall] health and wellbeing," according to the study.

Constantly traveling and working late into the night also contribute to difficulties in maintaining sleep patterns, nutrition and exercise, which contribute to detrimental psychological effects and health issues including higher blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and mortality.

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