22 Dec 2011

Death club just a coincidence

4:30 pm on 22 December 2011

A study has found that the so-called 27 Club, which groups musicians like Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain, is just a coincidence. All were 27 when they died.

Queensland University of Technology associate professor Adrian Barnett says lifestyle is a key theme.

''One of the theories is (that) famous musicians become famous in their early 20s,'' he said.

''Then the money comes in, they start to engage in risky behaviour, maybe then they need stronger drugs, more alcohol," he said.

''So by the time they're sort of in their late 20s, that's kind of when their risk taking peaks.''

Professor Barnett says a study published in the British Medical Journal suggests there is nothing meaningful behind the club.

''There was a small blip in the risk of death at age 27 for famous musicians, but there other similar blips at age 25 and 32," he said.

''In fact, famous musicians are two to three times more likely to die in their 20s or 30s than the general population.''