Objective: To study the association of educational level and risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer among Asian populations.
Design: A pooled analysis of 15 population-based cohort studies.
Setting and participants: 694 434 Asian individuals from 15 prospective cohorts within the Asia Cohort Consortium.
Main outcome measures: HRs and 95% CIs for all-cause mortality, as well as for CVD-specific mortality and cancer-specific mortality.
Results: A total of 694 434 participants (mean age at baseline=53.2 years) were included in the analysis. During a mean follow-up period of 12.5 years, 103 023 deaths were observed, among which 33 939 were due to cancer and 34 645 were due to CVD. Higher educational levels were significantly associated with lower risk of death from all causes compared with a low educational level (≤primary education); HRs and 95% CIs for secondary education, trade/technical education and ≥university education were 0.88 (0.85 to 0.92), 0.81 (0.73 to 0.90) and 0.71 (0.63 to 0.80), respectively (ptrend=0.002). Similarly, HRs (95% CIs) were 0.93 (0.89 to 0.97), 0.86 (0.78 to 0.94) and 0.81 (0.73 to 0.89) for cancer death, and 0.88 (0.83 to 0.93), 0.77 (0.66 to 0.91) and 0.67 (0.58 to 0.77) for CVD death with increasing levels of education (both ptrend <0.01). The pattern of the association among East Asians and South Asians was similar compared with ≤primary education; HR (95% CI) for all-cause mortality associated with ≥university education was 0.72 (0.63 to 0.81) among 539 724 East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) and 0.61 (0.54 to 0.69) among 154 710 South Asians (Indians and Bangladeshis).
Conclusion: Higher educational level was associated with substantially lower risk of death among Asian populations.
Keywords: Asia; cancer; cardiovascular; education; mortality.
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