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CHICAGO (Reuters Life!) - What you learn in school appears to be critical to your health, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The long-term study of more than 10,000 Wisconsin residents who graduated from high school in 1957 concluded that the higher a participant's school rank was, the lower the probability of worsening health as they approached retirement age four decades later.
"We already know (schooling) matters for things like your work and your earnings, but this proves it also matters for your health," said Pamela Herd, an associate professor of public affairs and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The participants have been surveyed periodically since graduation about their lives, and Herd said researchers have ruled out simple conscientiousness as an explanation of the link between academic performance and health.
"What we're seeing is what you learn in school may actually matter for your health," she said, adding it may be too late for those who did poorly in school.
The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Jerry Norton