It’s sounds rather surprising, but this isn’t the first research to suggest this – education can be related to lifespan. We’re also not talking about a few months either, in fact it was suggested that it could be the difference of about a decade of extra life.
The researchers at the University of Colorado found that leaving school without reasonable qualifications, left people at the mercy of a lifetime of a poor diet, low paid and long manual work plus there was an effect on mental health.
They obviously suggested that widening educational disparities could cause all sorts of social issues beyond the obvious income effects. The data that was checked was from the US population and covered the period of 1925 to the present day. The studies suggest that the effects of lack of education seem to be increasing too, with mortality rates in the lower educated rising substantially.
It mirrors several other studies including some UK and European ones, in fact there was a documentary covering the effect some years ago on BBC Ireland, might be available here.
The effect can be noticed across the education levels too, with those at A level/High school degree levels living longer than those with less education. The more education the better so US college/University degrees living even longer – the more education the better as far as longevity is concerned.
“Our results suggest that policies and interventions that improve educational attainment could substantially improve survival in the U.S. population, especially given widening educational disparities,” said study co-author Dr Patrick Krueger, assistant professor in the Department of Health & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver,
There seems to be some sense in it when you think about it, after all education also shortens your working life slightly whereas someone going straight into manual labour from school would work several years longer. That may seem insignificant when younger but those years can add up when you get older. Also many manual jobs can be very difficult cope with mentally for periods of time, as anyone who’s ever worked on a dull production line or tedious manual job will testify too.