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Do prominent health gurus live longer?

Stashed in: #health, Best PandaWhale Posts, Awesome, Longevity!, Fitness, Health Studies, Real Talk, Real Age

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Great post. And the answer appears to be “no” in their simulation. 

The plot below shows the relationship between a guru's prominence (GPROM), on the horizontal axis, and the guru's age at the time of death (GAGED), on the vertical axis. Each data point refers to a guru. On average, the greater a guru's prominence, the lower seems to be the guru’s life expectancy. Each one-point increase in prominence is associated, on average, with approximately a one-year decrease in life expectancy


Note that there is one very prominent guru whose age at the time of death was around 95; the data point at the top-right corner (GPROM=7, GAGED~95). This happened largely by chance in our data. Nevertheless, assuming that our data somewhat reflects what could happen in real life, the followers of the guru would probably point at that longevity as being caused by the guru’s knowledge about health issues. They would likely be wrong. Our dataset also allows us to estimate the probability that a fairly prominent guru (GPROM greater than 4, on a 1-7 scale) would have a below average life expectancy (GAGED lower than 79). That conditional probability would be approximately 60 percent

Not sure why but the more of a guru the person is, the more likely they will die earlier. 

You're referring to the reversion of icon and name?  Yeah I think there are some bugs with setting in the first place, in FF.  I can just reset them... but are you saying this is going to happen every time??

Nope, just this one time unless that server crashes again.

Thanks for resetting them. 

Btw I got to this page from here:

PS Great picture of a health nut. 

Thanks.  I interpret the model as backing up the idea that the (representative of the majority) is basically never right. ("Does history record any case in which the majority was right? - R. Heinlein)

I agree that conventional wisdom is sometimes wrong.

But shouldn't SOME gurus be right?

It's the inverse correlation between guru and life length that is unsettling. 

I wonder if the stress of being prominent is lowering their life expectancy.

How far back to start the list of 100? Jim Fixx died 1984, age 52.

His heart condition was genetic. Perhaps exercise extended his life.

He died of a heart attack while jogging at 52 years of age. His genetic predisposition for heart problems and other previous lifestyle factors may have caused his heart attack.

Tristan that is an interesting theory.  In general higher-status people live longer, but what if this doesn't apply to those in the "spotlight"?

Very interesting Adam.  I think it's worth sharing with Ned, who put the model together (and have done so).

I thought so too. Thank you for sharing with Ned!

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