Mean age of death and longevity for male scientists of different specialties

The article provides information on the mean age of death (MAD) for 54 256 men professionally involved in research work and assigned to one of the six categories, namely, physics, chemistry, medicine and biology, mathematics, economics, and humanities. In addition, the effect of teaching activity on MAD and longevity has been evaluated for scientists of different specialties. Special attention has been paid to the analysis of MAD of the deceased members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, including members of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1724–2013). The minimum MAD has been found for mathematicians (72.1 ± 0.21 years) and the maximum MAD for scientists in economics (74.6 ± 0.26 years). The relative number of surviving ≥90 years and ≥100 years is minimal for mathematicians (7.59 and 0.37%, respectively), whereas those numbers for economists reveal the maximum values (10.26 and 0.96%, respectively). Indicators of MAD and proportion of centenarians among the scientists who received public recognition strongly depend on the specialty. Similarly, the members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the USSR Academy of Sciences have the highest MAD in economics (74.7 ± 1.05 years) and the lowest in mathematics (70.6 ± 0.74 years). MAD has proven to be 3.5 years higher for scientists involved in teaching at university or college compared to those who were not involved in teaching. In this case, the “gain” is significant, ranging from 3.1 years for economists and humanitarians to 4.9 years for mathematicians. The results of the study lead to the conclusion that intense scientific work contributes to an increase in life expectancy and longevity. © 2016, Allerton Press, Inc.

Anisimov V.N. 1, 2 , Zharinov G.M.3
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  • 1 Department of Carcinogenesis and Oncogerontology, Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, St. Petersburg, 197758, Russian Federation
  • 2 Department of Geriatrics and Organization of Gerontological Assistance, People’s Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 3 Russian Research Center for Radiology and Surgery Technologies, St. Petersburg, 197758, Russian Federation
longevity; mean age of death; members of the Russian Academy of Sciences; scientists; teachers
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