A breakthrough study links education and longevity

Two more years of school can reduce mortality by up to 10%, slowing down the biological aging process: this is the discovery of new research

A compelling study from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center has unveiled a significant correlation between education level and lifespan. This groundbreaking research indicates that an additional two years of education can reduce mortality by up to 10%.

Drawing from the Framingham Heart Study, initiated in 1948 and spanning three generations, this study has brought to light the pivotal role of education in decelerating the biological aging process and fostering a longer, healthier life.

By employing an algorithm known as the DunedinPACE epigenetic clock, researchers were able to analyze the genomic data of participants to gauge the pace of aging. Findings reveal that individuals who attained an additional two years of education exhibited a 2-3% slower aging pace, which corresponds to a 10% decrease in mortality risk throughout the Framingham Heart Study.

Understanding the DunedinPACE epigenetic clock

The DunedinPACE epigenetic clock, developed by Columbia researchers, operates by assessing the chemical modifications of DNA, serving as a gauge for an individual’s aging velocity. This innovative tool has elucidated the impact of education on the biological aging process, demonstrating that higher educational attainment is linked with slower aging and increased longevity.

Notably, the study highlights that upward educational mobility—achieving a higher level of education than one’s parents or siblings—is associated with better health and a lower likelihood of mortality. This positive correlation was consistent across all generations involved in the study, reaffirming the significance of education in promoting healthy aging and extended lifespan.

However, the researchers emphasize the need for further experimental evidence to confirm these findings and fully understand how education influences biological aging and longevity. Despite these caveats, this study makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the relationship between education and health, underscoring the importance of investing in education to cultivate a healthier, more long-lived society.

Source: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

The article draws upon studies published and recommendations from international institutions and/or experts. We do not make claims in the medical-scientific field and report the facts as they are. Sources are indicated at the end of each article.
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