Evidence shows that education and health are closely linked. Good educational attainment is strongly associated with better health outcomes in later life. Conversely, a low level of education is linked to poorer health outcomes.

A national analysis of mortality based on educational qualifications found that “for people aged 30 and above, if everyone had their death rate reduced to that of people with degrees, there would be 202,000 fewer premature deaths each year.” 1 Higher educational attainment is also linked to reduced infant mortality, even in richer countries. 2

Studies have shown that, although interlinked, education has at least as much causal impact on individual and population health as income levels – this effect is mediated through lifestyle and risk behaviours and uptake of preventative services. 3

Research has shown a clear gradient in the relationship between health and education, where the more education you have received, the better health outcomes you have. 4 For example, a study in the US found that for each additional year of schooling there was a reduction in the probability of dying in the next 10 years by 3.6 percentage points. 5

 

References

  1. The Marmot Review, “Fair Society, Healthy Lives,” 2010.
  2. M. Marmot, The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World, 2015.
  3. L. Feinstein, R. Sabates and T. M. Anderson, “What are the effects of education on health?,” Measuring the effects of education on health and civic engagement: proceedings of the Copenhagen symposium, 2006.
  4. M. Marmot, The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World, 2015.
  5. L. Feinstein, R. Sabates and T. M. Anderson, “What are the effects of education on health?,” Measuring the effects of education on health and civic engagement: proceedings of the Copenhagen symposium, 2006.