A higher IQ in childhood = a longer life
According to a new study published in the BMJ, higher intelligence (IQ) in childhood is associated with a lower lifetime risk of major causes of death, including heart disease, dementia, respiratory disease, stroke and smoking related cancers.
The findings are based on data from 33,536 men and 32,229 women born in Scotland in 1936. All the individuals had taken an intelligence test when they were 11 years old and those same individuals had their date and cause of death recorded if it occurred before December 2015.
Several factors that could influence the results were taken into account, including age, sex and socioeconomic status. The study found the higher the individual scored on the intelligence test the lower the risk of death before the age of 79. For example, a higher score was associated with a 28% reduced risk of death of respiratory disease, a 25% reduced risk of death from CHD and a 24% reduced risk of death from stroke.
The authors of the study concluded. "Importantly it shows that childhood IQ is strongly associated with causes of death that are to a great extent dependant on already known risk factors. It remains to be seen if this is the full story or if IQ signals something deeper and possibly genetic in its relation to longevity."
About the journal: The BMJ is a weekly peer reviewed medical journal. Originally called The British Medical Journal, it is one of the oldest medical journals in the world.