10 Medical Conditions For Which You Can Reduce the Risk with Better Education

2009-12-31 | |
Last updated: 2009-12-31

5. Lung Cancer

In a study with contributors including the Danish Cancer Society and the International Epidemiology Institute, researchers found that members of the public without a higher education had a rate of lung cancer at least 70% higher than for people with such education.

6. Alzheimer’s Risk

Research carried out at Rush University Medical Center relating to Alzheimer’s Disease found that study participants with better education had better memory and thinking skills and were less likely to develop the disease than those with lower levels of education. However, education was not found to slow the rate of deterioration from the disease.

7. Risk of Stomach Cancer and Urinary Cancers

Based on research conducted by several institutions including the University of Iceland, scientists found that Icelanders with higher education had a roughly 30% lower risk of stomach and urinary tract cancers than those with only basic education or less.

8. Hospital Visits from Asthma Attacks

In recently reported news, research conducted at universities including the university of Montreal and Brown University found that those with lower levels of education were 55% more likely to have an emergency health visit as a result of an asthma attack. The researchers suggest that this may be as a result of higher exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants by those with lower education.

9. Probability of Heart Attack

In research involving data from 52 countries, a study lead by Sahlgrenska University Hospital found that in wealthy countries, the risk of heart attack was 61% higher for those with only basic education. In low and middle-income countries, the risk was 25% higher. The researchers suggest these numbers arise from differences in level of understanding of those factors that affect heart health.

10. Rates of Obesity

Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that obesity rates were 33% less in men and 82% less in women who had completed college. Given the various risks associated with obesity, these findings clearly show the health benefits of some higher education.


Looking at these combined results, the benefits of higher-level education to our health are varied and many. As a result, it should come as no surprise that a study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that in the US, those who had some level of higher-level education had 10 to 20% better levels of health than those without. The researchers suggest that job stress, lower income and limited job options were likely contributors to the results.

While these top ten areas of health are improved by education, one notable exception in which not getting a higher education was a benefit was with regard to breast cancer.

Based on research led by the University of Iceland, women with higher education had a 25% higher risk of breast cancer than those with only basic education. In a similar study conducted by the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Japan, the risk of breast cancer was found to be twice as much for women with higher education than for those without. The research suggests that delaying childbirth or not having children is the main risk for women to develop breast cancer.

All in all, the evidence is overwhelming in supporting the benefit of higher education to longer, healthier lives. If you are young and currently deciding your future or if you have children or grandchildren, you now have ten new reasons for staying in school and getting a degree. If you think the opportunity for education is long past for you, think again and consider taking a few courses at a community college on the side.

Though New Year’s resolutions are generally doomed to failure, getting an education is one resolution with numerous long-term benefits. Even a little additional education seems to go a long way.

Related Links


Pages: 1 2

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Disease Prevention, General Health

Comments are closed.