Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High IQ Linked To Reduced Risk Of Death

Date:
March 13, 2009
Source:
Wellcome Trust
Summary:
A study of one million Swedish men has revealed a strong link between cognitive ability and the risk of death, suggesting that government initiatives to increase education opportunities may also have health benefits.

A study of one million Swedish men has revealed a strong link between cognitive ability and the risk of death.
Credit: Rowena Dugdale, Wellcome Images

A study of one million Swedish men has revealed a strong link between cognitive ability and the risk of death, suggesting that government initiatives to increase education opportunities may also have health benefits.

Related Articles


Dr David Batty, a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, and colleagues, found that a lower IQ was strongly associated with a higher risk of death from causes such as accidents, coronary heart disease and suicide.

The researchers studied data from one million Swedish men conscripted to the army at the age of 18. After they had taken into account whether a person had grown up in a safer, more affluent environment, they found that only education had an influence on the relationship between IQ and death.

The researchers say the link between IQ and mortality could be partially attributed to the healthier behaviours displayed by those who score higher on IQ tests.

"People with higher IQ test scores tend to be less likely to smoke or drink alcohol heavily, they eat better diets, and they are more physically active. So they have a range of better behaviours that may partly explain their lower mortality risk," says Dr Batty.

Previous studies have suggested that preschool education programmes and better nourishment can raise IQ scores. The study suggests this may also have previously unforeseen health benefits, further validating government efforts to improve living conditions and education.

Dr Batty suggests there may also be benefits from simplifying health information for the public.

"If you believe the association between IQ and mortality is at least partially explained by people with a lower IQ having worse behaviours - which is plausible - then it might be that the messages used to change health behaviours are too complicated," he says.

"Messages about diet, including how much or what type of alcohol is beneficial, aren't simple, and the array of strategies available for quitting smoking are diverse and actually quite complicated. If you clarify the options available to people who want to, say, quit smoking, in the short term that may have an effect."

A second study, also co-authored by Dr Batty, used data from more than 4000 US soldiers and followed them for 15 years. The study found the same relationship between IQ scores and mortality, as well as a significant association between higher neuroticism and increased mortality risk.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Batty et al. IQ in Early Adulthood, Socioeconomic Position, and Unintentional Injury Mortality by Middle Age: A Cohort Study of More Than 1 Million Swedish Men. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2008; 169 (5): 606 DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwn381
  2. Weiss et al. Emotionally Stable, Intelligent Men Live Longer: The Vietnam Experience Study Cohort. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2009; DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e318198de78

Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust. "High IQ Linked To Reduced Risk Of Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312140009.htm>.
Wellcome Trust. (2009, March 13). High IQ Linked To Reduced Risk Of Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312140009.htm
Wellcome Trust. "High IQ Linked To Reduced Risk Of Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312140009.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins