Do well at school to avoid heart disease later, research shows

Students who leave school without any qualifications can expect to suffer from poorer health and greater risk of heart disease than those with some qualifications, according to new research.

However, the study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), suggests if they return to education later on in life they may be able to reduce the health gap with their more educated peers.

Professor Tarani Chandola, from The University of Manchester, carried out the research on the data of 4,311 British adults born in 1958 for the ESRC-funded International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health.

Men and women who leave school without any qualifications, he added,  may be able to 'catch up' with their more qualified peers in terms of a lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Around 14% of adults, he found,  went on to obtain some qualifications between the ages of 23 and 42.

Men who left school without any qualifications had a 4% risk of heart disease in their 50's.