This paper compares mortality between Gold and Silver medalists in Olympic Track and Field to study how achievement influences health. Contrary to conventional wisdom, winners die over one year earlier than losers. I find strong evidence of differences in earnings and occupational choices as a mechanism. Losers pursued higher-paying occupations than winners according to individual Census records. I find no evidence consistent with selection or risk-taking. How people respond to success or failure in pivotal life events may produce long-lasting consequences for health.
More here – ScienceDirect
It is interesting that the authors found no correlation with risk taking and mortality because that was my first guess when reading the paper. In my mind guesses as to why this might be range from second place getters were more well rounded individuals which is probably why they came second to winners believing they had achieved all they thought they could achieve.