Childhood Brain Power Tied to Adult Heart Health
A study of nearly 10,000 British adults who have been monitored since their birth in 1958 shows a connection between childhood intellect and healthy hearts during adulthood. Previous studies have suggested that smarter kids become healthier adults. These researchers wanted to understand that connection.
"We sought to establish whether associations between childhood cognition and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in adulthood are explained by common causes, or adult social position or health behavior," the study explains.
The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, finds that the connection is a matter of circumstance, rather than physiology. Study subjects who showed higher intellect as children were more likely to end up with a better education and better jobs, which often means access to good health care and information about healthy living.
Rather than suggesting any physical connection between brain power and heart health, the research indicates that childhood intellect tends to put people on a path toward a lifestyle that helps protect them from heart disease risk factors.
Related: Heart Disease: It's Partly in Your Head, Children's Health Insurance Program's Future Uncertain
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