Heart health linked to your education, wealth: B.C. study
A laptop computer monitors a patient's heart function as he takes a stress test while riding a stationary bike in Augusta, Ga. on Aug. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/The Augusta Chronicle, Michael Holahan)
A new B.C.-led study is linking your education status to improved heart health.
Conducted by SFU professor and St. Paul's Hospital cardiovascular research chair Scott Lear, the study says there is a direct link between a person's socioeconomic status and their susceptibility to heart attacks and strokes.
"How much money you have tends to be a strong predictor of health outcomes, but education seems to be a far more robust measure to use across countries," Lear said in a release.
The study, which was published in medical journal the Lancet, included more than 225,000 participants from 25 countries over the course of 15 years.
The participants ranged in age from 35 to 70 years old.
"Given the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension in low-income and middle-income countries, these findings are important," the study reads. "The findings of this study emphasise the importance of better education, which in turn can lead to better care and more use of proven pharmacological therapies."
Lear says the difference between wealth and education impacting heart health is fairly straightforward.
"If we give people money they don’t suddenly become healthy, but if we strive to better educate our population, that will result in improved health because there is a more direct link between education and health outcomes," he said.
Data was collected from families and households through two questionnaires with a third being used to collect data on heart risk factors.