Educational differences in life expectancy: The contribution of eight risk factors

“A substantial reduction of inequalities in life expectancy requires policy actions on a broad range of health determinants”

This study assessed the effect of different risk factors on life expectancy differences between men and women in the Netherlands aged 35 to 80 years with a high or low education. The data were compared with figures for Northwest Europe. Risk factors considered were manual profession father, low income, few social contacts, smoking, high alcohol consumption, little exercise and low fruit and vegetable consumption.

Key Takeaways for the Industry

  • Not only health behaviours, but also material circumstances and circumstance during childhood explain the gap in life expectancy between the lower and higher educated.
  • A substantial reduction of inequalities in life expectancy requires policy actions on a broad range of health determinants.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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