The level of education of a person or population is actually one of the strongest predictors of good health. The more educated someone is, the healthier they tend to be. Well-educated people are much more likely to be aware of the risks involved in various lifestyle choices and to avoid the riskiest behavior. They have a better understanding of sanitation, nutrition, and the importance of preventive care, such as immunizations, so they are less likely to get sick. When they do get sick, they are more active about seeking information, they make better decisions about their own care, and they are more likely to follow directions, take medications in the right dosages and on schedule, and follow through with physical therapy.
As a result, they have better health outcomes and longer life expectancies, on average, than those with less education, even when income differences are factored out. As parents, they confer the same benefits on their children’s health.