Odds favor McCain completing a first term in good health

 If John McCain is elected and wins a second term, there

Sen. John McCain

WASHINGTON (AP) -- If John McCain is elected and wins a second term, there's as much as a one-in-four chance his vice president will have to finish it. That's according to an Atlanta actuarial company.

Bragg Associates specializes in individualized estimates of life and health expectancy. The firm calculated the odds of the 72-year-old McCain and 47-year-old Barack Obama dying in office, making adjustments for their known health problems.

The odds favor either of them completing a first term in good health. But, mainly because of his age, the odds of McCain dying or being in poor health increase faster than for Obama.

Of course, the numbers are just that: numbers. Actuaries make statistical calculations for insurance companies based on numbers culled from large databases. As one puts it, there's "a randomness to it that we don't know."

And whoever is president would get some of the best health care in the world.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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