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Less Education May Mean Poorer Health
Date:5/6/2009

high school reported being in less than very good health, compared with 37 percent of college graduates. In Vermont, which had the best overall health in adults, 68 percent of adults who hadn't finished high school said they were in less than very good health, compared with 22 percent of college graduates.
  • Overall, racial and ethnic minorities were more likely than whites to report being in less than very good health. Education-related differences in health were seen within every racial or ethnic group. For example, 44 percent of black college graduates in the United States said they were in less than very good health, compared with 55 percent of those with some college education, 62 percent of high school graduates, and 73 percent of those who didn't finish high school.
  • California had the largest gap between the overall rate of less than very good health and the rate for college graduates. The study found that 48 percent of all adults in California said they were in less than very good health, compared with 28 percent of college graduates in the state. Delaware had the smallest difference, with 41 percent of all adults reporting being in less than very good health, compared with 32 percent of college graduates.
  • "Regardless of where your state falls in these rankings, the news isn't good," commission co-chair Mark McClellan said in the news release. "Education is an important marker for an array of opportunities that can lead to better health. One of the most important things we can do for our nation's health is to improve education quality and educational attainment."

    The report authors also established a benchmark rate for adult health by looking at the best level of health achieved in any state among college graduates who also have healthy behaviors. The benchmark was found in Vermont, where less than very good health was reported by only 19 percent of college graduates who exercised and didn't smoke.

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