The findings come from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, which has been following more than 10,000 people who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. Those students who finished in the top 25 per cent of their high school class were healthier, decades later, than the ones who finished in the bottom quarter. When they were all in their early 60s, those who had finished in the top quartile were, over all, half as likely to have experienced the declines in health that their peers who graduated in the lowest quartile were experiencing. Asked to assess their health on a scale from “excellent” to “poor,” the top students ranked their overall health higher, and they were only half as likely to report having a chronic ailment like diabetes, heart disease or respiratory illness.
“What we’ve seen all along in other studies is the link between attainment — years of schooling — and health,” said study author Dr. Pamela Herd, associate professor of public affairs and sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “Here there’s a link between health and actual academic performance.
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