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Average lifespan of a sumo wrestler?

Many of my collegues (who are not sumo-fans like I am) are sure that 
a sumo wrestler dies relatively young. Is this true? What is the 
average lifespan of a high-ranking sumo wrestler?

I am new to this list and I that hope this question has not been 
asked (or answered) many times before. I have read some literature and 
FAQs but found no answer.

Pekka Henttonen

Kansallisarkisto - National Archives of Finland
address: PB 258, FIN-00171 HELSINKI
fax: + 358-9-176302
email: pekka.henttonen@narc.fi