Giving Compass' Take:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that found trends showing that adults who do not finish high school are less healthy than other individuals with higher education degrees. 

• How will this research inspire high school educators to ensure that more students are learning the necessary skills not just to graduate but to grow up as healthy adults? 

• Read about how school counselors play a role in keeping kids on track. 

On Sept. 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest numbers on health in the U.S.

This report provides a snapshot of Americans’ health up to 2016, revealing several key trends – including that Americans who don’t finish high school continue to lag behind. Again and again, the trends across educational levels show that adults with no high school diploma or GED are consistently at the greatest risk for the leading causes of disease and death.

Heart disease declined among people with less than high school education across years, yet this population consistently had the highest reported percent for heart disease compared to adults with a high school diploma or higher.

In 2016, close to two-thirds of adults with no high school diploma did not engage in physical activity, compared to 55 percent of high school graduates and 38 percent of adults with some college or more.

Why is education so closely linked with health? According to a report released by the Administration for Healthcare Research and Quality, adults with low levels of education experience extra stress, partly due to problems with finances and getting employment. Adults who report low levels of education also tend to have experienced a greater number of childhood adversities. Without positive coping mechanisms, stress harms the body in many different ways, leading to poor health.

Education is not just about receiving a diploma; it’s the process of acquiring knowledge and skills that can help people adapt, cope and utilize critical thinking. Research has shown that not completing high school education is linked to poor health literacy skills, which are necessary to navigate the health care system.

Read the full article about education and health by Shanta R. Dube at The Conversation