Proper education and a good
socio-economic status is the key to longer life expectancy,
American researchers have claimed.A study by researchers at University of Illiniois shows
that despite advances in health care and increases in life
expectancy overall, Americans with less than a high school
education have life expectancies similar to adults in the
1950s and 1960s."The most highly educated white men live about 14 years
longer than the least educated black men," lead author of the
study S Jay Olshansky said.
"The least educated black women live about 10 years less
than the most educated white women," he added.
The researchers examined life expectancy by race, sex and
education and examined trends in disparities from 1990 through
"Over the last couple of decades, almost all longevity
boats have risen," said Olshansky, but there have been some
subgroups that have had a drop in life expectancy." "It's as if Americans with the least education are living
in a time warp," he said. The least educated black men are
living in 1954, black women in 1962, white women in 1964, and
white men in 1972.
According to researchers white women with less than 12
years of education can expect to live five years less than
their counterparts did in 1990 (a decline from age 78 to 73).
Black women with less than 12 years education can expect
to live to age 74, up from age 73 two decades ago.
"There are essentially two America's," said Olshansky.
One subgroup of the population is highly educated, doing
well, and they are experiencing a dramatic increase in life
expectancy, he said.
Another subgroup of the population is less educated, doing
very poorly, and experiencing a drop or only modest increases
in life expectancy.The researchers conclude that education and socioeconomic
status are extremely important variables that influence
variations in longevity.
They suggest that one of the most important ways to
address these large disparities is through lifelong education.
The study is published in journal Health Affairs.