Christmas 2011: Death’s Dominion

Is 27 really a dangerous age for famous musicians? Retrospective cohort study

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 20 December 2011)
Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7799

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The authors found that the mortality rates of great musicians was significantly higher than that in the general population.

There are anecdotal reports that authors, actors and musicians suffer from mood swings. They are at higher risk of alcohol and substance misuse, and possibly suicide.

One could argue that they also tend to have stormy relationships.

One wonders if some of them have Borderline Personality Traits, and if these traits make people better artistes.

Competing interests: None declared

Prabhat Mahapatra, Consultant Psychiatrist

South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, Fieldhead Hospital, Wakefield

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