The study examined 900 former elite athletes and their brothers, and found, on average, former elite athletes survive 2-3 years longer than their brothers. In addition, their self-rated health and health-related habits are better in comparison to their brothers at an older age. 

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Titta Kontro from the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä. Kontro investigated whether all-cause mortality and the development of behavioural and biological risk factors differ between athletes and their brothers in later life.

” Across all age groups, former elite athletes survived on average 2 to 3 years longer than their brothers, but at an old age there were no significant differences in all-cause mortality. Former endurance sports athletes lived longer than power sports athletes. Correspondingly, endurance sports athletes’ brothers lived longer than power sports athletes’ brothers,” Kontro says.

Former elite athletes estimated to have better health, and they smoked less and were physically more active than their brothers. However, there were no significant differences in mobility, physical or psychosocial functioning in daily life between former athletes and their brothers. The brothers showed evidence of a lower mood than the former athletes.