Children with less education die sooner, according to university study

Posted at 8:35 AM, Jan 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-09 08:58:53-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Staying in school longer leads to a longer, healthier life.

That’s the gist of a study done by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The group released a video to explain its findings.

“I don’t think most Americans know that children with less education are destined to live sicker and die sooner,” Director of the VCU Center on Society and Health Steven H. Woolf, M.D., said. “It should concern parents, and it should concern policy leaders.”

The study found life expectancy, especially among white women with less than 12 years of education, is trending downward.

According to the study:

In the United States, 25-year-olds without a high school diploma can expect to die nine years sooner than college graduates.

By 2011, the prevalence of diabetes had reached 15 percent for adults without a high school education, compared with 7 percent for college graduates.

Findings that not only impact the lives of your friends and family members, but could also have a larger impact on the country’s economy.

“Policymakers must remember that cutting ‘non-health’ programs like education will cost us more in the end by making Americans sicker, driving up health costs and weakening the competitiveness of our economy,” Woolf said.

The university found a “good education” gave people “greater access to health insurance, medical care and higher earnings to afford a healthier lifestyle and to reside in healthier homes and neighborhoods.”