Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Better education translates into longer life expectancy

This should make you sit up and think.

Life expectancy has been steadily rising for Americans, but only better-educated people are enjoying longer lifespans while those with high school diplomas or less are falling further behind. So says a Harvard study.

The idea that life expectancy is set to decrease, rather than increase, because of all of the nasty things we do to ourselves, is more a mathematical quirk than a reality. What we are seeing is the better educated, who are likely to have a better lifestyle, living longer and longer whilst their not so fortunate peers will, at best, live to the same age if not die younger. The average between the two is a meaningless number.

The situation is even worse than these figures suggest. The less educated (and poorer) cohort will not only die earlier but will also have a shorter period of "healthy life expectancy". Not good. Dick Stroud

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