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20Jul2015

Lacking Education as Deadly as Smoking: Study

 

Education is really essential for the betterment of people. Latest study at the US confirms that lack of education may be as deadly as being a smoker. 

Deaths linked with differences in education have been estimated by researchers at the University of Colorado, New York University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Death rate across education level has increased considerably

"In public health policy, we often focus on changing health behaviours such as diet, smoking, and drinking," said Virginia Chang, associate professor of population health at NYU School of Medicine.

"Education, which is a more fundamental, upstream driver of health behaviours and disparities – should also be a key element of US health policy," said Chang.

Natural experiments were also included in the study. The study shows strong association between education level and morality.

The study team evaluated the survey data of Centres for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health of over a million people from 1986 to 2006. They estimated death rates depending on education level.

The cause of death among people born in 1925, 1935, and 1945 were evaluated by the team to understand how education levels affected mortality over time.

They found "that 145,243 deaths could be saved in the 2010 population if adults who had not completed high school went on to earn a GED or high school degree, which is comparable to the estimated number of deaths that could be averted if all current smokers had the mortality rates of former smokers."

110,068 deaths could have been avoided if the adults completed their bachelor's degree. Morality rates fell among those with high school degrees but it even dropped more rapidly among those with college degrees.

"Our results suggest that policies and interventions that improve educational attainment could substantially improve survival in the US population, especially given widening educational disparities," said Patrick Krueger, assistant professor in the Department of Health & Behavioural Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver.

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