News

Less educated people age faster, says science

Pin it

DNA

A college education may not land you your dream job anymore, but at least it'll keep you looking young. While the connection between heath and socioeconomic status has long been known, a new study by the British Heart Foundation has found that education might be a more exact way of measuring well-being and youthfulness, than wealth or class, at least according to our DNA. The BBC reports:

"Professor Steptoe's team took blood from more than 400 men and women aged between fifty-three and seventy-five. They then measured the length of sections of DNA found at the ends of chromosomes. These sections – called "telomeres" – cap chromosomes, protecting them from damage. Shorter telomeres are thought to be an indicator of faster ageing. The results showed that people with lower educational attainment had shorter telomeres, indicating that they may age faster. They also indicated that telomere length was not affected by a person's social and economic status later in life, as was previously thought."

According to their findings, people with university degrees are less likely to encounter stress or are more equipped to handle it when they do. Hmm, I'm not sure I buy it, though to be fair, student-loan-related stress is probably less prevalent in the U.K., so they've got that going for them. Regardless, stay in school, kids. It'll keep you looking sharp.