Does Education Affect Life Expectancy?

By @ibtimesau on

When asked why people go to school and be educated, a normal response would be is, "To get a job." Education is a normal and natural part of life, and as more and more people seek higher education, they've only got greater job opportunities in their minds. Bu who's to say people get educated just to live longer?

For decades now, death rates for less educated middle aged adults are much higher than that of their more educated peers. And true enough, education does play a part as new research shows that those with lower education levels are slower to respond with behavioral changes, according to Professor Richard Miech, of the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.   

Based on research, almost all causes of death that are on the increase are fueled by high rates of mortality among people with lower education. Professor Miech explained that money, power, prestige, knowledge, and beneficial social connections allow people of higher education status to take better advantage of health developments.  

Findings also show that the causes of death have changed. Miech pointed out that a hundred years ago, top causes of death were tuberculosis, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Now, the most prevalent are heart diseases, cancer, and stroke.

But what is most disconcerting is that even when looking back a hundred years ago, the one thing that hasn't changed is the fact that people with lower levels of education continue to be the ones dying at greater rates.

Similarly, a study from Harvard Medical School and Harvard University found that people with more than a high school diploma can expect to live up to seven years longer, reported CBC News back in 2008. In fact, as of 2000, better-educated people have a life expectancy of up to the age of 82, as opposed to the less-educated with only 75.

In September 2009, a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America also came out with the same subject. According to reports, college graduates live at least five years longer than non-high-school graduates, reported EduGuide.org.

Research suggests that this is so, because those with greater educational attainment are more mindful about eating healthy, getting exercise, and avoiding risk factors such as drinking excessively and smoking. In addition, better-educated people are able to change their risky health behaviors quicker in response to new evidence.