Table of Contents:
An investigation of graduates of the US Military Academy Westpoint shows a clear possitive correlation between the rank, used as measurment for professional success, and life expectancy.
The evalutation of the mortality rate by full-parametric shows a good estimates for the Weibull- and the Gompertz-modell while the Exponential-modell oversimplyfies and first over- and later underestimates the real mortality rate. In the semi-parametric Cox-modell there is a clear influence of the rank to the mortality rate, too.
The mortality risk of the lowest rank group after at least 20 years in duty is clearly higher than that of the highest rank group and the average lifetime in the highest rank group is 4.4 years longer than that of the lowest rank group. The results are statistically significant. The positive effect of success can be seen in all agegroups, even long after active duty time. Height did not show a significant effect on life expectancy.
These results indicate that there are psychosocial factors besides socioeconomic factors that influence life expectancy. Up to now social science mainly dealed with the socioeconomic effects of social status. Several studies indicate, that the clear differences in the mortality rates of different social layers can not only be explained by socioeconomic factors and the resulting risk behavior. In spite of all attainments of the modern social systems, the layer specific mortality gradient is still very clear. While the socioeconomic aspects are more and more adjusted, psychosocial aspects become more and more important.
This study indicates that professional success is a factor infuencing mortality and should be more carefully investigated.