Why do geniuses have shorter life spans? Perhaps it is because the brain is overworked and obsessive, which causes the body to be neglected and unhealthy. Or is it just a myth that geniuses die young?

  • First, define what you mean by 'genius'. – jamesqf Jul 31 '15 at 6:13
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    Please cite a notable claim. – gerrit Jul 31 '15 at 8:33
  • Maybe this can be reworded to "is intelligence correlated to life span?" but 1) it's not what it's currently asking and 2) I am not sure it's notable at all. – Sklivvz Aug 1 '15 at 9:24
  • According to the FAQ, Skeptics.SE is for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read. This question doesn't appear to have any doubtful claims to investigate. Please edit it to reference a notable claim and flag for moderator attention to re-open (or get 5 re-open votes). – Oddthinking Nov 15 '16 at 17:54

The claim is false. High IQ individuals tend to live longer.


"Premorbid (early life) IQ and later mortality risk: systematic review."


Nine cohort studies met the inclusion criteria. Overall, study quality was moderate. All reports showed an inverse IQ-mortality relation; i.e., higher IQ scores were associated with decreased mortality risk. The nature of this relation (i.e., dose-response or threshold) and whether it differs by sex was unclear. The IQ-mortality association did not appear to be explained by reverse causality or selection bias. Confounding by other early-life factors also did not seem to explain the association, although some studies were not well characterized in this regard. Adult socioeconomic position appeared to mediate the IQ-mortality association in some studies, but this was not a universal finding.


In all studies, higher IQ in the first two decades of life was related to lower rates of total mortality in middle to late adulthood. Some plausible mechanistic pathways exist, but further examination is required. The precise nature of the IQ-mortality relation (particularly in ethnic minorities and women) and the link between IQ and disease-specific outcomes also warrants further research.

There's even a strong correlation between IQ and chances of dying in a motor accident.


"THE g FACTOR The Science of Mental Ability"

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    +1 for the motor vehicle accidents table, very interesting titbit! – John Doucette Jul 31 '15 at 19:09
  • That sure clears it up! Thanks for your answer @Murphy =) – Yvonne Liew Jul 31 '15 at 22:24
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    This answer doesn't answer the question as it currently stands. It's not about people with IQ>150 – Christian Aug 3 '15 at 11:04

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