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Did sculpting give artists a health advantage before antibiotics?

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39423.603391.DB (Published 13 December 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1233
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

    A study has shown that great sculptors live longer than great painters, and the reason may lie in the greater level of exertion needed for the first job compared with the second.

    Old master sculptors lived on average three years longer than old master painters, and the physical work involved may have helped boost the ability of their immune systems to fight off infections in the age before antibiotics, researchers say (Age and Ageing 2007 Dec 3 doi: 10.1093/ageing/afm172).

    In the study, the authors created a database of European old master painters and sculptors, excluding those who had lived in the 20th century. Although Michelangelo was …

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