A higher IQ equals a longer life.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Cognition disorders (Complications and side effects)
Cognition disorders (Research)
Intellect (Physiological aspects)
Intellect (Research)
Intelligence levels (Physiological aspects)
Intelligence levels (Research)
Intelligence tests (Usage)
Mortality (United States)
Mortality (Risk factors)
Mortality (Research)
Pub Date: 06/22/2009
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Summer, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 218313979

Having high cognitive ability has long been a desirable trait, even more so now after new research links this ability to a reduced risk of death. A study of one million Swedish men reveals that lower IQs are decidedly associated with accidents, heart disease, and suicide, therefore resulting in a higher risk of death. Researchers took into account the home life and economic status of those being studied and came to the surprising conclusion that only education had a noticeable impact on the relationship between IQ and death.

Researchers believe the link between IQ and mortality has to do with the fact that those with higher IQs tend to exhibit healthier behaviors. "People with higher IQ test scores tend to be less likely to smoke or drink alcohol heavily, they eat better diets, and they are more physically active. So they have a range of better behaviors that may partly explain their lower mortality risk," says Dr. Batty, a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow and co-author of the study. There are a variety of ways to raise IQ scores, ranging from preschool education programs to an overall improvement in adolescent nourishment. This only furthers the need for increased government efforts to improve living conditions and educational systems. There are numerous government initiatives to increase education opportunities, and this study has made it clear that an increase in education might coincide with an increase in health benefits.

Dr. Batty believes that breaking down complicated health information for the general public will result in an overall increase in health benefits: "If you believe the association between IQ and mortality is at least partially explained by people with a lower IQ having worse behaviors--which is plausible--then it might be that the messages used to change health behaviors are too complicated."

Wellcome Trust. (2009, March 13). High IQ linked to reduced risk of death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 13, 2009, from hnp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312140009.htm
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