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Degree at 25 means better health in midlife

Arnold School study: Better health 1 more reason for degree

Margaret M. Lamb. Margaret@mailbox.sc.edu, 03-777-5400

Better health in midlife might be a matter of degrees.

According to a study led by Dr. Katrina Walsemann of the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health, attaining at least a bachelor's degree after 25 years of age is associated with better midlife health.

The results appear in the "American Journal of Public Health." The study examined whether attaining a higher educational degree after 25 years of age was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better self-rated health than not attaining a higher educational degree.

The researchers analyzed data from 7,179 people who were part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a nationally representative sample of individuals who were 14 to 21 years old in 1979.

Researchers found that among respondents with no degree, a high school diploma, or a post-high school certificate at age 25, attaining at least a bachelor's degree by midlife was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better self-rated health at midlife when compared with respondents who did not attain a higher degree by midlife, said Walsemann, an assistant professor in the Arnold School's Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior.

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