WWE Issues Statement In Response to BBC Story on Wrestlers Dying Young

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper

– The BBC magazine website ran an article this weekend asking why wrestlers often die so young, specifically naming Roddy Piper, Curt Hennig and The Ultimate Warrior.

The article points to research done at the University of Eastern Michigan, where academic studies a group of 557 former pro wrestlers. Of the 62 wrestlers in the group who died between 1985 and 2011, 49 died before the age of 50. 24 of those 49 died before the age of 40 and 2 of them died before the age of 30.

The study also found that mortality rates for wrestlers aged between 45 and 54 were 2.9 times greater than the rate for men in the wider United States population. From that group, cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death.

A WWE spokesperson issued this statement to BBC:

“Unfortunately, some past performers were part of a generation of wrestlers who made unhealthy and poor personal lifestyle choices, which in some cases continued beyond their years in the ring. Today’s athletes take great pride and personal responsibility for their overall health and well-being. Notwithstanding, WWE talent are subject to random drug testing and expected to live healthy lifestyles, reinforced through our Talent Wellness Program, which was instituted in 2006.”

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