According to the eight decade long study presented in The Longevity Project those from the study who lived the shortest lives included:
- Those who experienced combat in war. Returning soldiers from World War 2 who fought in the Pacific tended to fair the worse of all who returned from the Great World War. Upon returning, they tended be depressed and drink heavily.
- Children that started school early. They get a head start in school by starting kindergarten at a younger age than what is normal. As these children progress through school, they tended to be isolated and feel social out of place.
- Children of divorced parents. For children who experience the divorce of their parents, they tended to drink excessive alcohol or smoke as adults. They tended to engage in riskier behavior. They were also more likely to experience divorce themselves later in life.
- Drink alcohol excessively or smoked. Some in the study were characterized as very sociable but they did not live to an old age. People in this group tended to drink excessively and smoke.
- Loaners. People without a social network suffered from not having someone to look out for them and help them through hard times.
- Drifted from job to job. This group had a lack of purpose. They tended to follow an unhealthy life path.
- Catastrophize. Typically, these people view their lives as a total mess. They were most likely to die from suicide or a violent death.
Typically, those who lived the shortest lives had a combination of these traits. In addition, there were people in the study who had some of these traits or behaviors and went on to live past sixty years old. The key for these people was to get onto a healthy life path.