Education saves lives regardless of age, gender, location, social and demographic background. This is the conclusion reached by Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME-CHAIN) researchers in their respective published in The Lancet Public Health magazine.
The researchers found that the risk of death decreases by 2 percent with each additional year of education. That means those who completed six grades of primary school were on average 13 percent less likely to die early. After graduating from high school, the risk of early death decreased by 25 percent, and 18 years of education reduced that risk by 34 percent.
The authors of this paper compared the effect of education with other risk factors, such as healthy eating and unhealthy habits, and found that the results were similar. For example, the benefit of 18 years of education can be compared to the benefit of eating lots of vegetables or smoking ten cigarettes a day for 10 years.
Although the benefit of education is most pronounced in the health of young people, the elderly—even those over 70—can also feel this effect.
The researchers found as well that location and the prosperity of the given country did not matter.
A meta-analysis of 600 scientific articles, with more than 10,000 data points from 59 countries was used in this research. Most of the work was conducted in high-income countries, which, the researchers noted, highlights the need for additional research in low- and middle-income countries.