The relationship of education to risk factors at baseline and to long-term mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and all causes was analyzed for three cohorts of middle-aged employed white men in Chicago: 8047 from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry (CHA) (entry 1976-1973), 1250 from the Peoples Gas Company Study (PG) (entry 1958-1959) and 1730 from the Western Electric Study (WE) (entry 1957-1958). Each man was classified into one of four groups: not a high school graduate, high school graduate, some college but not a graduate, or college graduate. For all three cohorts, a graded, inverse association was observed at baseline between education and blood pressure, which was statistically significant for CHA and WE men and independent of age and relative weight. For all three cohorts, a significant, graded, inverse association was also recorded between education and cigarette use at entry. For serum cholesterol, no clear pattern was observed for the education groups in any of the three cohorts. CHA men showed a graded, inverse relationship between education and relative weight. This cohort was the only one of three showing a significant, graded inverse association between education and prevalence of ECG abnormalities at entry. For this CHA cohort, 5-year follow-up data showed a statistically significant, graded, inverse relationship between education and age-adjusted mortality rates from CHD, CVD and all causes. With adjustment for entry age, diastolic pressure, cigarettes, serum cholesterol, relative weight and ECG abnormalities, this inverse relationship remained - reduced in degree, but still statistically significant for CVD mortality. Similarly, for the pooled PG-WE cohort of 2980 with 20-21 years of follow-up, education and the three mortality end points were inversely related but not graded, with statistical significance for all three end points in the univariate analyses. The results of these studies indicate inverse relationships between education and lifestyle-related risk factors at baseline and between education and long-term risk of CHD, CVD and all-causes mortality. The inverse relationship between education and mortality is accounted for in part by the established major biomedical risk factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)