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Staying alive linked to staying in school?

So it seems that people who stay in school longer, live longer.  But not for the reasons you might expect – it’s not because privileged kids are more likely to stay in school and also happen to get better healthcare.  It seems that school teaches kids two things beyond the books: 1) discipline – the ability to delay gratification and 2) social networking skills.  These two lessons go a long way to keeping people healthier long term.

Come to think of it, this makes a lot of sense – if a person can learn to avoid fast food for the “higher call” of health, they may live longer.  If a person is well integrated in a social network, they’re more likely to seek out medical assistance earlier on – and have caring friends and family spur them on towards regular check ups, taking their meds, etc.

Now, I don’t know what YOU were doing in junior high and high school – but apparently the first hints of your discipline and networking skills were learned there.   Although the research described in the NY Times article only made a link between total years in school, and total years of life – I wonder if your high school’s  ”expert networkers” – you know them, the ever-annoying popular kids – will fare best of all in the health arena?

Better go to your high school reunion to find out!

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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3 Responses to “Staying alive linked to staying in school?”

  1. Lauren says:

    Interesting. I wonder if the gains continue into the college years. Graduate? Doctoral?

  2. ValJonesMD says:

    Good question – it seems that the correlation continues througout ALL years of education. So yes, there are continued gains in college, grad school, etc.

  3. OhPositively says:

    Very interesting! Thank you for this blog post.

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