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Does the Office of the President Cause US Presidents to Age More Quickly?

Many United States presidents have gone gray while in office, which leads some people to think that the office of the president causes them to age more quickly than other people, but it's actually not the case. In fact, U.S. presidents tend to live longer than other people who were born in the same year. This is thought to be because of the fact that presidents tend to be from wealthy, upper-class families and have continuous access to good nutrition and healthcare throughout their lives.

More facts about presidents and aging:

  • Early U.S. presidents tended to live particularly longer than their peers. The first eight presidents lived about double the average lifespan of men in their time.

  • The fact that many presidents get gray hair and wrinkles is actually pretty normal for most men in their age range. The median age for U.S. presidents to assume office has been about 55 years old. Besides, gray hair isn't caused by stress, anyway — it's primarily because of genetics.

  • The longest-lived U.S. president as of 2012 had been Gerald Ford, who lived to be 93 years, 165 days old. The shortest-lived president who died of natural causes was James Polk, who was 53 years, 225 days old when he died. Both James Garfield and John F. Kennedy were shorter-lived than Polk, but they were assassinated. Garfield was 49 years, 304 days old when he died, and Kennedy was 46 years, 177 days old.

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