-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Famous musicians are no
more likely to die at age 27 than at any other age, a new study
The fact that a number of rock stars -- including Amy Winehouse,
Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Kurt
Cobain -- died when they were 27 makes that age appear particularly
But this study examined the so-called "27 club" hypothesis, and
found that fame and a rock-and-roll lifestyle may increase rock
stars' risk of death at any age.
The researchers compared the deaths of 1,046 famous musicians
with data from the general U.K. population. The musicians were solo
artists and members of bands who had a number one album in the U.K.
charts between 1956 and 2007. They ranged from rock 'n' rollers and
heavy metal stars to crooners and even actors who voiced
During the study period (a total follow-up time of 21,750
musician-years), 71 (7 percent) of the musicians died, according to
study author Adrian Barnett, of Queensland University of Technology
in Australia, and colleagues.
A mathematical analysis showed no peak in the risk of death at
age 27, but musicians in their 20s and 30s were two to three times
more likely to die prematurely than people in the general
There was a cluster of deaths among musicians aged 20 to 40
during the 1970s and early 1980s, but there were no deaths in this
age group in the late 1980s. This could be due to the development
of better treatments for heroin overdoses, or the fact that the
hard rock that dominated the 1970s gave way to pop in the 1980s,
the researchers suggested.
So while the "27 club" is a myth, musicians do have a generally
increased risk of dying in their 20s and 30s, the study authors
"This finding should be of international concern, as musicians contribute greatly to populations' quality of life, so there is immense value in keeping them alive (and working) as long as possible," the study authors wrote in the report published online Dec. 20 in the BMJ.
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains how
common behaviors can affect your health.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.