Long life expectancy can be attributed to healthy eating and exercising. As a well-known rule, a healthy, balanced diet should consist of at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. Healthy eating and getting the recommended amount of exercise go hand-in-hand. Now a new study shines a light on how education could also impact a person’s life longevity.
Staying in school and going to university could add years to one’s life, a study has found.
People who have completed higher education tend to live longer, according to the new study.
American researchers followed the lives of more than 5,000 people across four cities and found that people with a high school degree or less died more than college graduates in the study group.
Each educational step a person took led to 1.37 fewer years of lost life expectancy.
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How to live longer: How a person’s education could impact life longevity
It showed that the level of education, rather than race, is the best predictor of who will live the longest.
During the course of the study, 395 people had died and the results were published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Around five percent of college graduates died compared to 13 percent of people with a high school degree or less.
What do the expert say?
Dr Brita Roy, an Associate Professor at Yale University, said: “These deaths are occurring in working-age people, often with children, before the age of 60.”
The researchers used a system called Years of Potential Lives Lost (YPLL) to calculate the number of deaths and how untimely they were.
After accounting for the effects of other variables such as income, level of education was still the best predictor of YPLL.
Dr Roy added: “These findings are powerful, they suggest that improving equity in access to and quality of education is something tangible that can help reverse this troubling trend in reduction of life expectancy among middle-aged adults.”
How to live longer: New study finds college graduates have an increase life expectancy
In the UK, there is a noticeable gap in life expectancy when looking at rich and poor people.
The life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest women is 7.9 years and 9.7 years for men, according to a study published in Lancet Public Health which analysed Office for National Statistics data.
Elsewhere in the world it was found that Swiss women live the longest according to a review of life expectancies from 15 major countries.
Females living in the land-locked European nation can expect to live for 79,03 years. Australian women rank second at 78.9 years, with Norway coming in at third place at an average of 78.61 years.
Women in the UK and US have a life expectancy of 76.43 years and 76.08, ranking sixth and eighth respectively.
Men in European countries of Sweden and Switzerland came second (74.02 years) and third place (73.7 years).
For men, the UK ranks sixth and the US fares slightly worse at eighth place.
The findings were published in the journal Populations Studies.