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  • Dr Frantz Pierre-Louis & Lloyd Pierre-Louis

Education and Health

While many elements such as nutrition, sleep and regular practice of physical exercise are widely recognized as health enhancers for any individual living in any country in the world, the impact of education on human health is rather hidden behind numerous scientific studies which consistently prove (via a thorough literature assessment) the likeliness of this stunning assumption: the more educated a person, a community, a nation is, the more likely he/it knowingly and consciously sustains actions/attitude/disposition which promote(s) health.

As a matter of fact, the scientific study supporting this specific assumption is clearly discussed in the excerpt of a 2013 report published by the National Research Council and Council Institute of Medicine as follows:

The statistics comparing the health of Americans based on education is striking:

- At age 25, U.S. adults without a high school diploma can expect to die 9 years sooner than college graduates.

- According to one study, college graduates with only a Bachelor's degree were 26 percent more likely to die during a 5-year study follow-up period than those with a professional degree. Americans with less than a high school education were almost twice as likely to die in the next 5 years compared to those with a professional degree.

- Among whites with less than 12 years of education, life expectancy at age 25 fell by more than 3 years for men and by more than 5 years for women between 1990 and 2008.

- By 2011, the prevalence of diabetes had reached 15 percent for adults without a high school education, compared with 7 percent for college graduates.

Moreover, it cannot be denied that health is intimately linked to life expectancy. A good health is literally the best existing bet for a long life in terms of duration (quantity buy also quality). That being said, many factors have the potential to affect health: a city highly polluted with carbon dioxide emitted through numerous vehicles; a group of people smoking and/or drinking heavily multiple times a day; a remote village located in a polluted environment and which access to hospital is nearly. However, one thing could be at the center of what could be done to reverse the adverse health effects that could result from the consequences of these situations: education. Indeed, people could be informed, taught and convinced not to smoke, drink unreasonably, how to responsibly manage and minimize greenhouse gas and toxic particle emissions, among others. A fortiori, when it comes to explain the reasons behind health issues in communities in the United States (or any country in the world), another excerpt from the same 2013 report cited above mentions the following: “[…] socioecological factors, along with unhealthy behaviors and deficiencies in the health care system […] (are) leading explanations for the "health disadvantage". Finally, if many believe that education is to children what water is to plants, even more so, education unequivocally represents the key which opens the vault of ignorance and analphabetism to unveil the hidden secrets of health which is the legitimate hope for a long and happy life, in the same way as children are the hope of humanity itself.

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