The people with higher level educative in Spain has a longer life expectancy and they live longer with quality of life than those less educated, according to a study by the Center for Demographic Studies (CED-UAB) published this Monday in the journal ‘Demographic Perspectives’.
The CED demographers have carried out the study with data from the National Institute of Statistics collected between 2017 and 2019, relating socioeconomic variables with health and mortality in the entire Spanish population.
The study confirms that, during the period analyzed, lMen with higher education lived about 5 years longer than those with primary or lower education, a difference that in women is somewhat smaller, just over 3 years.
The work also indicates that the difference in life expectancy between men and women, greater in the latter, tends to decrease as the educational level increases.
The demographer Sergi Trias-Limós, one of the authors of the study, explained to Efe that these differences are not due “in any case” to factors related to biology, but can respond to other types of questions, such as that people with a lower educational level “they tend to have more physical jobs, different social relationships and less knowledge of the human body and diseases.”
Life expectancy in Spain was 82.4 years in 2020 -85.1 in the case of women and 79.7 in that of men-, a year and a half less because of the pandemic, although Trias-Limón explains that this indicator is not enough to analyze mortality, since “it may happen that most people die close to 80 years of age or that others die at 60s while others live to be 100 years old. ”
The study shows that this inequality or variability in the age of death is greater among those without higher education, 27% in men and 23% in womenIn other words, the life of the population with a higher level of studies tends to have a more equitable duration, something that makes these not only longer on average, but also more homogeneous.
According to Trias-Limós, there is a relationship between a higher educational level and a lower avoidable mortality, those causes of death related to behaviors and lifestyles, although with one exception: women between 50 and 74 years old who develop cancer of the lung, since they were the most educated and the first to start smoking.
“Now this has changed and it is at younger ages that the highest rates of smoking and cancer occur and in women with fewer studies“, has pointed out the researcher.
According to work, the educational level also affects the years that a person lives in good health, because, from the age of 30, women can expect to live in good health for another 29.5 years if they have little education , while if they have higher education they live in good health for up to 44.2 more years, that is, more than 14 years apart.
In the case of men, the difference is 10 yearsThose without education are expected to live 30.9 years with quality of life after turning 30, while those with higher education are expected to do so for another 41 years.
From these results, the researchers extract what they call the “health paradox”, that is, women live longer, but do so in worse conditions.
According to Trías-Limón, life expectancy will increase in the next generations because the level of studies will increase, although he warns that this has to be accompanied by good policies and that inequalities may grow in the coming years due to COVID-19.
The study authors believe that the arrival of generations of increasingly educated women can help improve the health conditions of the female population as a whole in the coming decades and reduce the health gaps between men and women.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.