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Not going to school can cut life short; health benefits of being well-educated | Health

Not attending school could be as damaging for your overall health as smoking or drinking alcohol, a new study has revealed. Published in The Lancet Public Health on Tuesday, the study highlighted how more years of schooling can result in better job prospects and higher income, thus increasing the chances of getting better access to healthcare. The study was led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. (Also read | Addressing health, lifestyle variables might minimise the risk of young-onset dementia: Study)

Not attending school could be as damaging for your overall health as smoking or drinking alcohol(Freepik)

The more years you study in educational institutions, the better your chances of outliving those who have spent lesser time in schools and colleges.

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Little education is better than no education as according to the study people who completed six years of primary school had a lower risk of mortality by around 13 per cent, compared to those with no schooling.

As per the study, studying till secondary school reduces risk of dying by 25 per cent. On the other hand, 18 years of education lowered the risk by 34 per cent.

Researchers said that 18 years of education is akin to eating ideal amount of vegetables daily, as opposed to not eating them at all.


Dr Gorav Gupta, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Founder & Director – Tulasi Healthcare shares benefits of education for long term health and longevity.

  • Education provides individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to understand health information, make informed decisions about their lifestyle, and navigate the healthcare system.
  • Health literacy is crucial for adopting healthy behaviours, managing chronic conditions, and preventing diseases.
  • Well-educated individuals are more likely to engage in preventive healthcare measures, such as regular check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings. These practices contribute to early detection and treatment of illnesses, reducing the risk of complications and improving overall health outcome.
  • Education is linked to better lifestyle choices, including nutrition, physical activity, and stress management. People with higher levels of education are more likely to adopt healthier behaviours, leading to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
  • Education is linked to better adherence to medical advice and treatment plans. Understanding the importance of prescribed medications, lifestyle modifications, and follow-up appointments contributes to better management of chronic conditions.

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