Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Gender Differences in Mortality and Morbidity Patterns in Popular Musicians Across the Lifespan

Dianna T. Kenny, Anthony Asher
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 32 Number 1: Page 13 (March 2017)

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Abstract: Recent studies have highlighted the disturbing morbidity and early mortality of popular musicians. Most of the studies have focused on male musicians because, until recently, there were relatively few female popular musicians on which to base a population study. With the sharp increase in female popular musicians from fewer than 2% in the 1950s to 32% in the current decade, researchers are better able to examine the health status and mortality profile of female popular musicians. To this end, this paper makes what we believe is the first detailed analysis of mortality and morbidity in female popular musicians. Mortality patterns were similar for male and female musicians, and both were highly discrepant from population curves. Examination of death rates for younger (<45 yrs) and older (>45 yrs) musicians by sex and genre showed that violent deaths continued to dominate cause of death even in older musicians, accounting for 20% of all deaths, a figure three times higher than for a comparable general population. Unlike females in the general population, female gender did not bestow any protection against early death or manner of death by suicide, homicide, or accident compared with male popular musicians.
https://doi.org/10.21091/mppa.2017.1004

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