What do people with high IQ eat

Long-term study confirms: children with high IQ live longer

Edinburgh (Great Britain) - The largest study of this kind to date confirms a connection between the level of the intelligence quotient (IQ) in childhood and lifespan. Scottish researchers report that the better the results achieved in an intelligence test, the lower the risk of dying from a coronary artery disease, a stroke or a respiratory infection in the course of a lifetime. This effect is not based solely on the fact that more intelligent people smoke less and mostly take jobs that are less harmful to health, they explain in the "British Medical Journal". Rather, genetic factors that are still unknown for the time being could also play a role, which have a positive influence on both intelligence and life expectancy.

There are several hypotheses that explain the connection between intelligence and mortality, write researchers led by Ian Deary and Catherine Calvin from the University of Edinburgh. It is known that more intelligent people behave more health-consciously by smoking less, doing more sport and being better informed about health topics. There is a connection with the IQ for the choice of occupation, the quality of the food consumed and other living conditions that could also influence the risk of illness. Even after at least some of these influencing factors were taken into account in the statistical analysis of the new study, the original connection remained - an indication of possible genetic causes.

The researchers evaluated data from all children born in Scotland in 1936 who took an intelligence test at the age of eleven. This 45-minute test assessed verbal and non-verbal thinking skills, with a maximum of 76 points. 65,765 people took part, of whom data were used up to their death or up to the age of 79 years. The better the result in the IQ test, the lower the overall death rate - regardless of the cause of death. A test result that was 15 points better reduced the risk of respiratory diseases, coronary heart disease and stroke by 24 to 28 percent. The likelihood of fatal injury, dementia, or gastrointestinal disease decreased by 16 to 19 percent with the same performance.

A connection with cancer was found in particular for stomach and lung cancer, and to a lesser extent for other types of cancer, the risk of which increases with tobacco consumption. Overall, the relationships between IQ and disease risk were somewhat more pronounced in women than in men. However, even this study has still not clearly proven that genes actually exist that simultaneously ensure a high IQ and increase the chance of a long life.

© Wissenschaft aktuell