Having a high IQ seems to pave the way for a long life – with intelligent children less likely to die young from a whole host of illnesses.
Scottish researchers analysed data from 66,000 people born in Scotland in 1936 – and found that higher childhood intelligence is associated with a lower risk of dying up to the age of 79.
Intelligent children are less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, injuries, digestive diseases and dementia, the study found – after following the volunteers for 68 years.
The volunteers were IQ tested at age 11 – and a high test score was associated with, for instance, a 28% lower risk of death from respiratory disease, and a 24% lower risk of death from stroke.
One idea is that intelligent people are more likely to exercise, more likely to seek medical attention when ill, and less likely to smoke.
Professor Ian Deary, University of Edinburgh says,’ We don’t fully know yet why intelligence from childhood and longevity are related, and we are keeping an open mind.
‘Lifestyles, education, health literacy, less deprivation, and genetics might all play a part. We and other research teams are testing these ideas.’