GOING to university helps you live longer, a study suggests.
And every extra step in education a person takes leads to 1.37 fewer years being cut from their lives, the researchers say.
Education was shown to be a better predictor of life expectancy than race or other factors.
The researchers followed the lives of 5,000 people in four US cities.
They found 395 people had died before 60.
But just five per cent of them were graduates compared with 13 per cent of those whose education finished at school.
The proportion of deaths were all-but equal among blacks and whites.
Dr Brita Roy, an Associate Professor at Yale University, said: “These deaths are occurring in working-age people, often with children, before the age of 60.
“These findings are powerful, they suggest that improving equity in access to and quality of education is something tangible that can help reverse this troubling trend in reduction of life expectancy among middle-aged adults.”