It is known that education decreases the incidence of cardiovascular disease. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public Health demonstrates that education is also correlated with lower blood pressure and a decrease in other factors which influence health such as alcohol, smoking and weight gain.
Taking their data from The Framingham Offspring Study researchers followed 3890 people, for 30 years, monitoring their medical history, how long they stayed in education, and their levels of coronary heart disease. Educated men (greater than 17 years of education) had a lower body mass index (BMI), smoked less and drank less than men with less education. Educated women also smoked less, had lower BMI, but drank more than their less educated sisters (however they still only drank about half as much as the educated men!).
For both men and women, each extra level of academic study completed further reduced the incidence of high blood pressure. Dr Eric Loucks from Brown University's Department of Community Health said, "Even when adjusted for socio-economic variables education is inversely correlated with high blood pressure and this positive effect of education on health is even stronger for women than men."
So your granny was right - if you want to live longer pay attention at school, study hard, and go to college.
Dr Hilary Glover
Scientific Press Officer, BioMed Central
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3192 2370
Notes to Editors
1. Associations of education with 30 year life course blood pressure trajectories: Framingham Offspring Study
Eric B. Loucks, Michal Abrahamowicz, Yongling Xiao, and John W. Lynch
BMC Public Health (in press)
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