Knowledge is power, they say. And it may be that the acquisition of that knowledge helps you live longer too. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers have uncovered yet another positive aspect of education. Apparently, people who spend more years in school are more likely to live longer after the age 40.
Thanks to a change in Sweden's education policy, researchers found the opportunity to test their theory. From 1949 to 1962, the standard eight years of education had become nine. Children who were born from 1943 to 1955 in 900 municipalities were affected by the change. However, there were other students in other municipalities who weren't given the additional year and served as a control group. Over a span of 58 years, researchers were able to record a total of 92,000 deaths.
From the study, it was revealed that those who had nine years of education had lower mortality than those who only had eight. In addition, they were less likely to have lung cancer and get into accidents. Women who had nine years of education were also less likely to die from ischemic heart disease, while the men were less likely to die from external causes.
According to the study, staying in school longer may help students form better attitudes and, therefore, go on to have better lives. Anton Lager, one of the researchers, says, "If your life is a little better, you take a little better care of yourself. If you make a little more income, have a job with a little more flexibility, more control of time, then maybe you use less tobacco and alcohol." So if you're grumbling about the K+12 educational scheme that was recently implemented, here's one more reason to be happy about it.
(Photo by shho via sxc.hu)