People with higher IQs live longer lives, recent research finds.
People with high intelligence in childhood are less likely to get heart disease, strokes, respiratory diseases and dementia later on.
Some of the lowered risk is down to the fact that more intelligent people are less likely to smoke.
The conclusions come from a study of 65,765 people born in Scotland in 1936 who were followed until age 79.
Higher IQ scores in childhood were linked to a:
- 28% reduction in risk of death from respiratory diseases,
- 25% reduction in risk of death from coronary heart disease,
- and 24% reduction in stroke risk.
The study’s authors write:
“Importantly, it shows that childhood IQ is strongly associated with causes of death that are, to a great extent, dependent on already known risk factors…
…tobacco smoking and its distribution along the socioeconomic spectrum could be of particular importance here.[…]
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 author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the BMJ (Calvin et al., 2017).