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Staying in education linked to lower risk of heart disease

Staying in education is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease, finds a study published by The BMJ.

The findings provide the strongest evidence to date that increasing the number of years that people spend in the education system may lower their risk of developing coronary heart disease by a substantial amount, say the authors.

Many studies have found that people who spend more time in education have a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease. However, this association may be due to confounding from other factors, such as diet or physical activity.

To date, it has been unclear if spending more time in education has any causal impact on heart disease–in other words, whether increasing education might prevent it.

To better understand the nature of this association, and help inform public policy, a team of international researchers from University College London, the University of Lausanne, and the University of Oxford set out to test whether education is a risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease.