Is Shaq doomed to die young?

Shaq is such a big guy. I was just wondering how that should affect his lifespan. Should he die young or old?

If you are thinking of Agromegly…what Andre the Giant had… Shaq dosen’t have it.

Years ago, I read somewhere that tall people die sooner, by about 8 or 9 months for every inch over average height. IIRC, this was based on statistics from a coroner’s office in some Ohio city (probably Cleveland, Cincinnati, or Columbus). I’ve since tried to find more information on this, but have failed.

Okay, it’s more complicated than I thought. Being taller or shorter than a certain height seems to be disadvantageous.

Wilt Chamberlain (7’1" last time I read that stat) was 62 or 3 when he died,with a considerably lower body fat index than Shaq.IIRC he died of a heart attack.Bill Russell’s still going strong as far as I know.He’s only around 6’9" tho so maybe “big guy” doesn’t pertain to him in this context.

George Mikan the original big man in baskets stayed on the planet for quite awhile after his playing days.

It might depend upon how he got so big. NFL player Lyle Alzado (sp?) claimed that all the chemicals he used to enhance his performance brought on his terminal illness.

What are you basing this on? Eyeing them up? Surely, there’s no cite for that.

Wilt Chamberlain died of congestive heart failure, which is a little different.

As for George Mikan, he hasn’t “stayed” on the planet for quite a bit of time, he’s still here! He has diabetes and I believe he recently had a leg amputated, but is still going strong.

John Kenneth Galbraith is in his 90s and he’s 6’7". Good economist for a big man.

Another way to think of this is: when the NBA named its top 50 players on its 50th anniversary (1997?), all but one player was still alive. That was Pete Maravich, who wasn’t particularly tall.

I’m 6’5" and still alive!

[pirate smiley, indicating continuation of hijack]

Shaq’s body fat has been reported as low a four percent (which is probably bogus), and as high as 17% (which is probably right, when he’s out-of-shape during the off season), but most sources tag it at between 11 and 12%.

Wilt had a slimmer looking figure, but I can’t find any body fat estimates. He did play at about 275 pounds, which is 50 pounds (or more, depending on the time of year) less than Shaq.

Some people are tall because they have Marfan Syndrome, which can also cause early heart failure. I think Marfan Syndrome is not that uncommon, and if you eliminated Marfan victims from your sample, tall people might not be at a disadvantage at all.

But, would it be appropriate to eliminate Marfan Syndrome from the sample? It would seem to me that such conditions are a perfectly valid variable to consider.

RE Wilt’s BMI-as mentioned previously Wilt played to 275.Physique more chiseled ala Malone.

Muscle definition is usually an indication of BMI.The less defined are carrying more body fat.

Wilt was built like a running back/receiver on stilts-Shaq is more on the linebacker/def line mold-thicker thru the middle.

No I never measured them,just watched both in their early to prime years.Shaq’s type,incidentally,are more prone to weight gain between seasons.Wilt was playing volleyball in his 50’s

Dice, You would want to eliminate or control for any known diseases so that you are only comparing height to age at death and attempt to strike a causal relationship between those two alone which, in this case, is the question.

i have heard that taller= less likely to live longer.

i shall throw out some unmathematical figures right now:

I, as a 6’2 incher, have 100 billion cells in my body (see indefensible mathematics above).

my grandmom, as a 5’4er has 60 billion cells in her body.

i have fifty percent more cells in my body which can go cancerous/renegade/pissed.


Comparison with atheletes are suspect. They are by defintion in about the best phsycial specimans available, so it’s a very biased sample. NBA players don’t prove nuttin’.


I’d always wondered how Shaq’s knees managed to hold up under the stress of a 300+ pound body constantly jumping up and down to grab rebounds or do dunks. You’d have thought he’d blow out his ligaments or meniscus or whatnot.

You do not want to blow out your whatnot.

I don’t know how this fits in with what you’re saying, but Chamberlein was considered an incredibly strong guy in his prime, and at one point had a boxing match scheduled against Mohammed Ali (fell apart for some reason).