If children score above average in an IQ test, they have a relatively small chance of developing age-related illnesses for their eighties, such as heart disease or prostate cancer, according to the results of a study conducted by the Scottish researchers and published in the scientific journal British Medical Journal, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Nu.nl.
The scientists analyzed medical data on over 65,000 men and women from Scotland who made an intelligence test at the age of 11.
The study found that subjects with relatively high IQ scores were on average 25 percent less likely to have heart disease, 28 percent – less respiratory problems and 24 percent – less heart attack.
Dementia and stomach diseases also occurred less frequently in people who scored high in an IQ test. The scientists suspect that people with an above average intelligence live longer because they take better care of themselves. Thus, they smoke less often and generally eat healthier.
According to head researcher Prof. Ian Deary, the study underscores the importance of a healthy lifestyle. “If we can figure out what exactly makes smart people live longer and make others copy that lifestyle, we all have a chance of a longer and healthier life,” he explains to New Scientist news site.
The scientists emphasize, however, that the long life of smart people can not be fully explained by a healthy lifestyle. Probably, people with a high IQ have a better income and can afford better care and food.