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article imageStudy: More schooling makes us healthier

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By Tim Sandle     May 15, 2012 in Health
A long-term study has shown that children who undertake a nine year school program have a greater chance of living longer that those who complete eight years of schooling.
A new study indicates that children who take an extra year in school may see the benefit of significant health effects. The study was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
As reported in Nature, the study was undertaken at the University of California, Berkeley by studying schooling in Sweden. The results showed that Swedish children who were enrolled in an extra year of school had lower rates of mortality later in life and generally better health that children who did not.
The research drew upon different schooling practices in Sweden in the post-war years (1949-1962), as US News surmises. During this time, in some regions, there is a nine year program for school kids, whereas in other regions the requirement was for children to only take eight years of compulsory education. In 1962 the policy was changed and all children were required to take nine years at school.
The researchers studied death records from 1961 and 2007 to see if the extra year had an effect on health outcomes. The study found that the extra year correlated with a lower risk of dying after mid-life (between 40 and 70).
The conclusion was that education has a causal role in health.
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