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Article
June 19, 1954

ENGLAND

JAMA. 1954;155(8):770-771. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690260062021

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Abstract

Sport and Longevity.  —A comparison of the longevity of Cambridge sportsmen and scholars attending the university between 1860 and 1890 was made by Sir Alan Rook (Brit. M. J.1:773, 1954). There were 772 sportsmen including athletes, 187 cricketers, 178 rowing men, and 217 rugby players. The control group was made up of 374 "intellectuals" (honors men) and 336 "randoms" (men "who had not distinguished themselves sufficiently either academically or as sportsmen to be included in the other group"). The results show that the average age at death varied comparatively little; sportsmen died at 67.97 years, intellectuals at 69.41, and randoms at 67.43. Survival rates showed that up to the age of 40 the sportsmen had slightly better prospects, and it is suggested that this advantage is the result of deaths of weaklings in the other groups who from their physical attributes would be unlikely to indulge in sport.

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