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Schooling and Health

"Education: It Matters More to Health Than Ever Before"

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More than ever, Americans with less education are dying earlier than their more-educated peers, according to a policy brief from the Center on Society and Health.

According to the brief, Americans without a high school diploma can expect to die nine years before their college-educated peers.

Between 1990 and 2008, the life-expectancy gap, which has been widening since the 1960s, grew from 13 to 14 years between the most- and least-educated males. For females, that gap grew from eight to 10 years. Americans with less education are more likely to have major diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, and are more likely to have risk factors predictive of disease, such as smoking and obesity. Lower rates of education also correspond with higher rates of disease and disability and greater strains on mental health.

Vol. 33, Issue 17, Page 5

Published in Print: January 15, 2014, as Schooling and Health
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