New JAMA Article: Education Associated With Life Expectancy Among U.S. Adults

Tue, August 27, 2019
New JAMA Article: Education Associated With Life Expectancy Among U.S. Adults

This observational study estimates life expectancy at age 25 and to what extent causes of death are associated with differences in life expectancy based on the level of education attained by U.S. adults. The analysis included 2.2 million deaths in 2010 and 2.4 million deaths in 2017. Between those years, life expectancy at age 25 declined overall from 79.34 to 79.15 years in an analysis limited to white and black non-Hispanic adults because other racial/ethnic groups were too small or less reliably identified in the national vital statistics system. While life expectancy decreased for white adults, it didn't change significantly for black men and it increased among black women. Life expectancy decreased among adults with less than a four-year college degree and increased among the college educated. Much of the increasing educational differences in years of life lost may be related to deaths from drug use, especially among white men and women. Some limitations of the study are related to the nature of the data used.

Authors: Isaac Sasson, Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, and Mark D. Hayward, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

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