College Degree Linked With Better Health, Study Finds

A Healthy Reason To Get That College Degree

A college degree may do more than help you earn more at your job -- a new study suggests it could also be linked with better health.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, shows that earning a bachelor's degree after reaching the age of 25 is linked with having fewer symptoms of depression and having a higher self-rating of health.

The effect also held true for people who attained an associate's degree after reaching age 25 and who later went on to receive a bachelor's degree, according to the study.

The finding "provides preliminary evidence that the timing of education is associated with health and advances current research on the importance of attaining at least a bachelor's degree after the mid-20s," study researcher Dr. Katrina Walsemann, of the University of South Carolina, said in a statement.

The study was based on data from 7,179 people who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth in 1979. The people in the study were between ages 14 and 21.

According to the College Board's Education Pays report, college graduates also have lower smoking rates than people without a college degree. People with college degrees are also more likely to report regularly exercising -- 63 percent of college grads report participating in "vigorous exercise" once a week or more, compared with 37 percent of people in the same age group who had high school degrees but no college degrees.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the better health was linked with attaining a degree before age 25. It has been amended to say that the better health is linked with having a degree after age 25.

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