At the annual Oscars ceremony, the presenters in recent years have avoided saying, "And the winner is" in favor of "And the Oscar goes to." This way the other four poor nominees allegedly aren't losers. Except that everyone knows that the Gladiator guy, Russell Crowe, won for best actor this year and the other four guys lost, and if you need proof that what they did was lose, try to name them. (If you guessed Tom Hanks, well, yes, but that's pretty much a given.) Anyway, if the competition for an Oscar has been cutthroat up until now, wait until next year: according to new research, winning an Academy Award for acting gets you a little statue for your mantel plus about four extra years of life in which to savor the victory.
Donald A. Redelmeier and Sheldon M. Singh, whose report "Survival in Academy Award-Winning Actors and Actresses" appeared in the May 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, thought that examining the Oscars would be an innovative way to see how social status and health are intertwined. "We are trying to take advantage of these high-profile performers," Redelmeier says, "to make a much more serious point that is relevant to every person in society--namely, that social factors have a major influence on a person's health."