Education Lowers Heart Attack Risk


Apparently going to college lowers the risk of a heart attack. From the San Francisco Examiner comes news that:

A new study published in the journal Heart finds that there is a strong correlation between education and heart attack risk. Those who have eight years of schooling or less are up to 31 percent more likely to suffer from a heart attack than those with some education beyond high school.

When looking at wealthy countries, low education was linked to a 61 percent higher risk of heart attack, while the corresponding figure across low to middle income countries was 25 percent.

The study, found here, demonstrated that low education was the primary risk for the factors leading to a heart attack. Ah, the magic of college.

What exactly does this study really mean though? It’s sort of hard to tell. The most common explanation seems to be something about how people who go to college learn the skills to avoid a heart attack. (Or, as the Examiner article explained: “those with higher education are equipped with the facts to live a healthier lifestyle. Why not provide better health classes in high schools to ensure that students don’t have to depend on college to… to keep themselves healthy?”)

Well, maybe. But perhaps it’s not what people learn in college that lowers the heart attack risk; maybe it’s just that wealthier people are more likely to eat healthy food and exercise.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer