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  • Helen Fields is a freelance science writer based in Washington, D.C.
 

ScienceShot: Do Presidents Age Faster Than the Rest of Us?

6 December 2011 4:18 pm
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White House Photos

Three years into his presidency, Barack Obama has far more wrinkles and grayer hair than when he was a senator from Illinois. And Bill Clinton left the White House looking more than 8 years older. It seems like presidents age faster than people with normal jobs—one physician has suggested that they age twice as fast. But a new study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finds that it's not all bad for American leaders. By comparing presidents to other men of their eras, researchers discovered that commanders in chief die at about the same age as their peers. They certainly don't age at double the speed. Many live longer, probably because most have been wealthy, college-educated, and able to get good medical care. So why does being in office wrinkle presidents? Probably, the researchers say, because they're just getting older like the rest of us.

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