People who leave high school without a diploma have more than double the rate of heart attack than people who have a university degree, according to new data from the Australian 45 and Up Study. Those with intermediate education—but no university degree—have a risk of heart attack about two-thirds higher than college graduates.
These results came from following over a quarter of a million Australian men and women aged 45 to 64 for five years. Stroke risk also correlated with education level in the study. People without a high-school diploma were 50% more likely to have a first stroke than those with a college degree. Those with intermediate education were 20% more likely to have a stroke.
“This research demonstrates…how much worse the inequalities in cardiovascular disease are than we previously thought,” said Emily Banks, PhD, scientific director of the 45 and Up Study, in a press release. However, she added, “This research also provides important clues about how much cardiovascular disease can be prevented.”
- Read the full article in the International Journal for Equity in Health