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Study Finds Link Between Education And Lifespan

Apple On Teacher's Desk

The findings of a new study suggest that a low level of education might actually reduce your lifespan.

In the study, which was published July 8 in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers analyzed over 1 million Americans. From which, they estimated that in 2010 alone, over 145,000 deaths could have been prevented if adults who failed to graduate high school had either graduated or earned a GED.

According to the researchers, over 10 percent of the adults in the country that are between the ages of 25 and 34 lack a high school degree and more than 25 percent have some college education, but not a bachelor’s degree.

The study’s findings do not offer proof that a lack of education actually caused more deaths, but they do identify an association between education levels and risk of death, CBS News noted in a report.

Based on the analysis, another 110,000 deaths could have been prevented back in 2010 had adults with some college education completed their bachelor’s degrees.

Additionally, the researchers behind the study found that the more education a person has, the lower their risk of death during the period in which the study was conducted.

The study’s data included information which was collected between 1986 and 2006. Its participants were born in 1925, 1935 and 1945.

The study also found heart disease to be a greater factor than cancer when it came to increased risk of death among participants with lower levels of education.

Virginia Chang, an associate professor of population health at NYU School of Medicine and one of the study’s authors, was quoted by Health Day News in a report on as having said that “we often focus on changing health behaviors such as diet, smoking and drinking” when it comes to public health policy when it’s education that is the “more fundamental, upstream driver of health behaviors and disparities.” Subsequently, Chang believes that education should “be a key element of U.S. health policy.”

In public health policy, we often focus on changing health behaviors such as diet, smoking and drinking (…) Education — which is a more fundamental, upstream driver of health behaviors and disparities — should also be a key element of U.S. health policy.

An unrelated study published earlier this year in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine has identified a link between longevity and exercise suggesting vigorous exercise enhances longevity.

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