According to a research conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hilland and researchers from the University of Colorado, New York University lack of education could be as deadly as smoking.
The study published in the journal PLOS ONE says that more than 145.000 deaths could be avoided every year in the US if the students who did not finish high school would have obtained their high school degrees. This is the name number of deaths which could be averted if all the US population of smokers would stop doing so.
In addition the study also showed that lately the mortality rates dropped modestly in the case of those who have only a high school degree when compared to those who also had a college degree whose mortality rates dropped faster.
The researchers involved in the study analyzed the data from over 1 million people between the years 1986 and 2006. The participants analyzed were born in the years 1925, 1935 and 1945. The scientists investigated how education levels affected mortality rates and also the cause of death such as cancer and heart disease.
The findings of the study suggest that individuals with a higher level of education are likely to live longer. Some of the factors which contribute to this were the fact that they have higher incomes, a better psychological state and healthier behaviors such as engaging in intense exercising. In addition they were less likely to smoke and more likely to benefit from a health insurance. The findings also indicate that people with higher education were the ones who benefited the most from treatments and prevention programs for heart disease.
Co-author of the study Virginia Chang from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University remarked:
“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.”
The conclusion of the researchers was that adults who have not finished high school should be encouraged to complete it. This could save twice as many lives in the case of those born in 1945 compared to the people born in 1925.
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