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Life expectancy

Less Education Means Lower Life Expectancy

Sunday, June 15, 2008 by: Jo Hartley
Tags: life expectancy, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) New research reveals that death rate differences between the highly educated and poorly educated sectors of the population are growing wider and more pronounced. Americans who have less than a high school education have a greater risk of dying early than comparative college graduates. This risk has risen most quickly for white women and the premature death rates have fallen the fastest for black men who are college graduates.

Whites who drop out of high school are four times more likely than white college graduates to die at a young age. This difference is three times higher than rates that existed from the early 1990s. Blacks have similar trends, though they are less pronounced.

This trend is indicative of the overall health of our country's population. Those people with resources at their disposal and higher incomes are doing well and those without resources are declining.

The study compared the mortality rates between the years of 1993 and 2001. For purposes of the study, deaths of people between the ages of 25 and 64 were utilized. All of these deaths were considered premature because they occurred at ages that were considered lower than the life expectancies for the groups studied.

White women high school dropouts showed the biggest decline in heath. Their mortality rate rose by approximately 3 % per year over a nine-year period. Accidents, heart attacks, emphysema, and cancer were the causes of approximately half of the increase. This group of women had mortality rates 3.8 times college graduate rates.

White men high school dropouts also showed a large health decline, their mortality rate rose approximately 1 % per year. For these men, accidents, suicides, and cancer were the main causes of their mortality rates. These men were 4.4 times more likely to die prematurely than their college graduate counterparts.

Black males with college degrees showed a dramatic mortality rate improvement -- approximately 6 % over the nine year period. Black female college graduates had mortality rates that were 3 % lower per year. For both blacks and whites examined in the study, education exerted a stronger influence on men than women.

The study did not include the reasons behind these disparities. Speculating is interesting, however. Researchers suggest that the best explanations are likely the increase in obesity, blood pressure, and tobacco use among the less educated groups.

This study has been published in PloS One. This is a journal published by the Public Library of Science. The study based its findings on vital statistics from 43 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Seven of these states originally included had incomplete education information and had to be excluded. The study included only non-Hispanic whites and blacks due to problems reporting other racial and ethnic groups.

About the author

Jo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
http://loftymatters.com - Current Events
http://winemaiden.com - Simply Abundant Living

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