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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Higher IQ Can Mean a Longer Life

(Here's another take on the impact of human intelligence, coming on the heels of last week's post regarding IQ and personal wealth.)

A massive Swedish study shows a distinct correlation between intelligence and lowered risk of death. As for the inverse, researchers also found that a lower IQ was strongly associated with a higher risk of death from causes such as accidents, coronary heart disease and suicide.

The researchers studied data from one million Swedish men conscripted to the army at the age of 18. After they had taken into account whether a person had grown up in a safer, more affluent environment, they found that only education had an influence on the relationship between IQ and death. 

The link between IQ and mortality could be partially attributed to the healthier behaviors displayed by those who score higher on IQ tests.
"People with higher IQ test scores tend to be less likely to smoke or drink alcohol heavily, they eat better diets, and they are more physically active. So they have a range of better behaviors that may partly explain their lower mortality risk," says researcher Dr. David Batty of the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow.

A second study also co-authored by Batty used data from more than 4,000 US soldiers and followed them for 15 years. The study found the same relationship between IQ scores and mortality, as well as a significant association between higher neuroticism and increased mortality risk.

Click here for the complete Science Daily article.

3 comments:

Alice Kytler said...

This is so good to know! I hear the phrase 'only stupid people are breeding' being bantered around a fair bit and it's reassuring to know that we do have evolutionary advantages of some kind. Yay smart people! Maligned as a group for too long, lol.

Gregory LeFever said...

Thank you for visiting and for your comment, Alice Kytler. Based on what I've read on your blog, you obviously have a very high IQ, so your chances of a long life are enhanced . . . which I suspect would be a good thing for a polyamorist ;-)

~G.

The Acolyte Tao said...

This just seems like common sense really? The more intelligent you are of course (or at least I should hope) the better you are going to take care of yourself because you know the effects of not doing so.

Namaste!