ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
CANCER
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
EYE CARE, VISION
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
FITNESS
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Add your Article

Less Education May Mean Poorer Health

WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- American adults with the least education have the worst health, a new study finds.

Almost half of U.S. adults ages 25 to 74 reported being in less than very good health, and levels of health differ depending on level of education, according to a report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America.

For example, adults who didn't graduate from high school were more than 2.5 times as likely to be in less than very good health as college graduates. Those who graduated high school but didn't go to college were nearly twice as likely to be in less than very good health as college graduates.

The new report added to the commission's growing body of evidence that factors outside of the medical system play an important role in determining how healthy people are and even how long they will live.

"Access to affordable, high-quality medical care is essential, but that alone will not improve the health of Americans," commission co-chair Alice M. Rivlin said in a Johnson Foundation news release.

"What this report tells us is that education has a tremendous impact on how long and how well we live. Policymakers need to focus on schools and education, as well as promoting healthier homes, communities and workplaces, to improve the health of our nation," Rivlin said.

The report's authors said it is the first to look at health and education on a state-by-state basis. Among its other findings:

* 45 percent of U.S. adults reported being in less than very good health. Rates vary widely between states, from a low of 35 percent in Vermont to a high of 53 percent in Mississippi.
* Education-related differences in health can be seen within states. In Mississippi, nearly 75 percent of adults who hadn't graduated from high school reported being in less than very good health, compared with 37 percent of college graduates. In Vermont, which had the best overall health in adults, 68 percent of adults who hadn't finished high school said they were in less than very good health, compared with 22 percent of college graduates.
* Overall, racial and ethnic minorities were more likely than whites to report being in less than very good health. Education-related differences in health were seen within every racial or ethnic group. For example, 44 percent of black college graduates in the United States said they were in less than very good health, compared with 55 percent of those with some college education, 62 percent of high school graduates, and 73 percent of those who didn't finish high school.
* California had the largest gap between the overall rate of less than very good health and the rate for college graduates. The study found that 48 percent of all adults in California said they were in less than very good health, compared with 28 percent of college graduates in the state. Delaware had the smallest difference, with 41 percent of all adults reporting being in less than very good health, compared with 32 percent of college graduates.

"Regardless of where your state falls in these rankings, the news isn't good," commission co-chair Mark McClellan said in the news release. "Education is an important marker for an array of opportunities that can lead to better health. One of the most important things we can do for our nation's health is to improve education quality and educational attainment."

The report authors also established a benchmark rate for adult health by looking at the best level of health achieved in any state among college graduates who also have healthy behaviors. The benchmark was found in Vermont, where less than very good health was reported by only 19 percent of college graduates who exercised and didn't smoke.

A comparison of rates in every state against this benchmark shows that American adults at every education level and in every racial or ethnic group aren't as healthy as they could be, the report authors said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about health disparities.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, news release, May 6, 2009

Last Updated: May 06, 2009

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