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BMJ Open 2: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002089
  • Public health
    • Research

Dying to be famous: retrospective cohort study of rock and pop star mortality and its association with adverse childhood experiences

Table 2

Characteristics of rock and pop star sample by geographical region

Characteristics Total Europe North America p*
N % N % N %
All 1489 100 657 100 832 100
Male 1375 92.3 613 93.3 762 91.6 0.216
White 1321 88.7 632 96.2 689 82.8 <0.001
Music genre
 Pop/rock 1350 90.7 616 93.8 734 88.2 <0.001
 R&B 42 2.8 3 0.5 39 4.7 <0.001
 Electronica 33 2.2 30 4.6 3 0.4 <0.001
 New age 4 0.3 4 0.6 0 0.0 0.024
 Punk 3 0.2 3 0.5 0 0.0 0.051
 Rap 57 3.8 1 0.2 56 6.7 <0.001
Solo performer 165 11.1 51 7.8 114 13.7 <0.001
Died by 20/02/2012 137 9.2 38 5.8 99 11.9 <0.001
Likely cause of death (% of dead)
 1 Chronic disorder (drug/alcohol)† 10 7.3 1 2.6 9 9.1 0.193
 2 Drug/alcohol overdose 25 18.2 10 26.3 15 15.2 0.130
 3 Accident (drug/alcohol related) 7 5.1 4 10.5 3 3.0 0.074
 4 Suicide 4 2.9 1 2.6 3 3.0 0.901
 5 Violence 7 5.1 1 2.6 6 6.1 0.414
 6 Other accident 19 13.9 5 13.2 14 14.1 0.881
 7 Cardiovascular disease 21 15.3 4 10.5 17 17.2 0.334
 8 Cancer 25 18.2 8 21.1 17 17.2 0.599
 9 Other 18 13.9 3 10.5 15 15.2 0.483
 (1–5) All substance use or risk related 53 38.7 17 44.7 36 36.4 0.368
  • *p (probability) describes differences between North American and European rock and pop stars. Percentages are compared using χ².

  • †Chronic drug and alcohol disorders include liver, kidney and gastrointestinal diseases linked with substance use.

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