Rock Stars Live Fast, Die Young

Rock-music performers are two to three times more likely to die prematurely than their more sedate peers, often because of the negative consequences of alcohol and other drug abuse.

Reuters reported Sept. 4 that researchers at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University studied more than 1,000 rockers who performed between the 1950s and the 2000s. They found that there were 100 premature deaths among the group studied, including such legends as Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain.

About a quarter of the deaths were related to alcohol or other drug use. Deaths often occurred within the first five years of performers achieving fame.

“The paper clearly describes a population of rock and pop stars who are at a disproportionate risk of alcohol and drug related deaths,” said study author Mark Bellis. “In the music industry, factors such as stress, changes from popularity to obscurity, and exposure to environments where alcohol and drugs are easily available, can all contribute to substance use as well as other self-destructive behaviors.”

The research study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

From Join Together Online

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