The link between education and health.

A lot of research has shown a strong link between education and overall health. A study done by Ross & Wu shows that those who have obtained higher levels of education are more likely to have better health throughout life. Those who obtain higher education are less likely to face precarious working conditions and job insecurity, and they are more likely to obtain full time good positions. Moreover, individuals with higher education are less likely to smoke, more likely to attend check-ups on a yearly basis, exercise, drink moderately, and to partake in preventative medical care. On the contrary, not obtaining a higher education is associated with negative health outcomes such as a shorter life expectancy, higher chance of chronic disease and infectious disease, self-reported poor health, and a shorter chance of survival when ill (Ross and Wu, 1995). Overall, the study found that adjusting for variables such as work conditions, health lifestyle and social-psychological resources, good health was significantly associated with education. In summary, an individual’s education can impact the salary a person has, what kind of job they can acquire, and if they will be able to find full time work or not (Ross and Wu, 1995).

Virginia Commonwealth University also found that those who have a higher education are more informed and likely to educate themselves further on healthy behaviours and actually implement those healthy behaviours and try to improve upon their current lifestyle. Those with greater education and a higher income are also more likely to live in well-off neighbourhoods that have less crime rates, easier access to high-quality physicians, more green space, and politicians that will advocate for the requests received from the community. Lastly, education can provide individuals with a higher income, which allows them to have access to transportation to get them to work and medical appointments, to afford healthy foods so they are less likely to get sick, be able to afford healthcare and rent, and have access to a gym (Virginia Commonwealth University, 2015).

The chart below demonstrates earnings based on education:

(Virginia Commonwealth University, 2015).

Overall, a higher education has shown to be statistically associated with the health of individuals and communities today. When looking at those who are most at-risk of becoming high-utilizing patients in healthcare, education is a variable that should be considered.


References:

Ross, C. E., & Wu, C. L. (1995). The links between education and health. American sociological review, 719-745. Retrieved from: https://www-jstor-org.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/stable/2096319?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

Virginia Commonwealth University. (2015, February 13). Why education matters to health: exploring the causes. Retrieved from: https://societyhealth.vcu.edu/work/the-projects/why-education-matters-to-health-exploring-the-causes.html