A shorter life may be the price of fame for performers and sports stars, new research suggests.
Actors, singers, musicians and dancers, as well as athletes, tend to die earlier than people in other walks of life, scientists have found.
Experts believe one explanation could be that performers are more likely to smoke, drink too much alcohol or take illicit drugs.
The findings should act as a warning to young people obsessed with celebrity and stardom, they say.
Creative artists who worked on their own, such as writers, composers and painters, also had shorter lives, though not to the same degree as performers.
Australian researchers uncovered the trend after studying the obituary columns of the New York Times, which only include the names of the rich, successful and famous.
Analysis of 1000 obituaries shows that people who have devoted their life to the performing arts or sports are more likely to die at a younger age.
Performers in sport or the arts had an average age at death of 77.2 years, compared with 78.5 for creative non-performers.
Those who lived significantly longer were professionals and academics, as well as people with business, military or political careers. They had average life spans of between 81 and 83.
For people living shorter lives, the causes of death included accidents, infections and certain cancers.
Generally, cancer-related deaths were more common among performers (27 per cent) and non-performing creative individuals (29 per cent).
Lung cancer deaths - a likely indication of chronic smoking - were most often seen among performers and least often among professionals and academics.
The findings are published online in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine.
Lead author Professor Richard Epstein, from The Kinghorn Cancer Centre at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, says the one-off analysis doesn't prove anything but does raise some interesting questions.
"First, if it is true that successful performers and sports players tend to enjoy shorter lives, does this imply that fame at younger ages predisposes to poor health behaviours in later life after success has faded?
"Or that psychological and family pressures favouring unusually high public achievement lead to self-destructive tendencies throughout life?
"Or that risk-taking personality traits maximise one's chances of success, with the use of cigarettes, alcohol or illicit drugs improving one's performance output in the short term?
"Any of these hypotheses could be viewed as a health warning to young people aspiring to become stars."