risk of heart disease

In a recent survey, experts have found that individuals who spend maximum time in studying in formal education can lessen the risk of heart disease by a substantial amount. The finding is published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) stating that people who spend more time in the education system may lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Till date, there is no relevant evidence between the association of heart and education. A team of international researchers from the University College London, the University of Oxford, and the University of Lausanne performed a test to find out the association and help inform public policy.

The test is to check whether education is a risk factor for developing coronary heart disease. The researchers have analysed 162 genetic variants that are linked with years of schooling from 543,733 men and women. The research is done especially on European origin, using a technique called Mendelian randomization.

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Mendelian randomization is the method used to measure variations in genes of known function to examine the causal effect of a modifiable exposure on the disease.

The results found that genetic predisposition towards more time spent in education was associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease. Genetic predisposition towards longer time spent in education was also associated with less likelihood of smoking, lower body mass index (BMI), and a more favourable blood fat profile.

In addition to this, 3.6 years of an undergraduate university degree is predicted to reduce the risk of coronary disease up to about one third.

Dr Taavi Tillman (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health) said, “We are very happy for the discovery. Our study opens up a new angle in fighting heart attacks. This study makes us think about helping people stay in education for longer.”

Brent Richards at McGill University in Canada and colleagues,” the results are reliable and robust to sensitivity tests, which explore most of the potential biases in the results. When taken together with other observational studies and quasi-experiments, their conclusions are convincing.”

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