How does the lifestyle of superheroes affect their ageing process? Have you ever wondered? The team of the British Medical Journal took a close look at some heroes of the Marvel universe to clarify this question.
On the plus side
➕ regular exercise (superheroes don't sit around much, but walk back and forth a lot – even when discussing how to prevent the enslavement of humanity planned by aliens)
➕ a high level of social cohesion and connectedness, which is associated with a lower risk of dementia
➕ With the exception of Thor (whose ageing process is affected by his immortality), most superheroes do not drink heavily or smoke (except for Iron Man, in whom binge drinking has been observed). Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption are associated with longevity and healthy ageing.
➕Superheroes tend to have high educational attainment and (with one exception) a healthy weight. This can also be associated with positive ageing.
On the other hand, the following are considered risk factors
➖ Superheroes are repeatedly in close proximity to interplanetary collisions and explosions. Exposure to loud noises during military combat has been linked to hearing loss, which in turn is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.
➖ Superheroes are more likely to suffer severe head injuries, which could increase their risk of dementia. Many of their activities also increase the risk of life-changing physical injuries and disabilities.