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Spider-Man and other Marvel heroes would have health issues in old age

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By Gwyn Wright via SWNS

A study of superheroes and their lifestyles shows many of them would suffer from chronic conditions in old age, according to scientists.

They are more prone to dementia, life-changing physical injury and disability because they are exposed to loud noises, air pollution and head injury.


Hulk’s heart problems, excess weight and near-constant anger means he is at risk from a range of chronic diseases, while Black Widow’s traumatic childhood means she is more likely to become physically and mentally ill.

Spider-Man is strong, flexible and agile which should mean he is less likely to fall when he is old.


But his nightly crime-fighting means he is unlikely to be getting the eight to ten hours sleep recommended for teenagers which can lead to mental health problems, obesity and unintentional injuries.

However, it's not all bad news for the world-savers according to the Australian academics who reviewed 24 Marvel films released between 2008 and 2021 during the long days of lockdown.

They found superheroes take regular exercise, which is good for their long-term health and they live in places that are socially cohesive and connected, which reduces the risk of dementia.

They are also positive, optimistic, resilient and have a sense of purpose, all of which are linked to healthy aging.

With the exception of Thor and Iron Man, they do not drink heavily or smoke, which helps them live longer.


Both Black Panther and Iron Man are very rich and clever, which reduces their risk of dementia, and Black Panther is also vegetarian, which helps keep wrinkles at bay.

The conclusion is, like us, superheroes need to exercise regularly and have strong friendships and relationships if they are going to age well, scientists believe.

The researchers say analyzing the factors that put superheroes in Marvel films at risk of aging helps us better understand what may be putting us at risk of aging, and what we can do to slow it down.

They assumed that- with the exception of Thor, who has lived for several millennia - the speed at which they age is affected by their personal characteristics just as it is in mere mortals.


Study co-author Professor Ruth Hubbard, Masonic Chair of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Queensland, said: “To date, the Marvel superheroes’ combined efforts focus on matters such as on maintaining the safety of the multiverse, the modulation of human consciousness, the creation of artificial intelligence, and the development of technology to facilitate space travel.

“They should move their focus to dealing with challenges, such as how to provide high-quality health and social care across large, aging populations and preventing frailty and dementia.

“This would enable people across the multiverse, including superheroes, to experience high quality of life in older age.”

The findings were published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

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