To live the longest and healthiest life possible, get smarter. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) data show that past a certain threshold, health and wealth are just weakly correlated. However, overall health is closely tied to how many years people spend in school. Mexico, for instance, has a fifth the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States, but, for women, more than 50 percent of the latter’s schooling.
In line with the trend, Mexico’s female adult mortality rate is only narrowly higher. Vietnam and Yemen have roughly equivalent per capita GDP. Yet Vietnamese women average 6.3 more years in school and are half as likely to die between the ages of 15 and 60. “Economic growth is also significantly associated with child mortality reductions, but the magnitude of the association is much smaller than that of increased education,” comments Emmanuela Gakidou, IHME’s director of education and training. “One year of schooling gives you about 10 percent lower mortality rates, whereas with a 10 percent increase in GDP, your mortality rate would go down only by 1 to 2 percent.”
Discover, May 31, 2013. Adaptado.
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