Does more education mean longer life?

By Web Producer
By NBC News

Does more education mean longer life?

August 7, 2012 Updated Aug 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM CDT

CHICAGO -- Here's a good argument for getting kids to stay in school: You're more likely to live longer as you become more educated.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago looked at life expectancy trends from 1990 through 2008.

They say those without a high school diploma have life expectancies similar to adults living in the 1950's.

There were also racial disparities. The most educated white adults can expect to live at least a decade longer than the least educated black men and women.

Researchers think the least educated black women are experiencing high levels of obesity, while the least educated white women may be turning to drugs and alcohol in larger numbers.