MADISON, Wis., Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Students who gets top grades in high school have better health decades later than those who didn't make good grades, U.S. researchers suggest.
Pamela Herd, an associate professor of public affairs and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues used data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study that involved more than 10,000 graduates of Wisconsin's high school class of 1957. UW-Madison researchers have gone back to the class members six times in the past 53 years since graduation to ask about work, life, family and health.
Herd says they found higher academic performance in high school plays a critical role in health throughout life.
"How well you do in school matters," Herd says in a statement. "We already know it matters for things like your work and your earnings, but this proves it also matters for your health."
The study, published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found the higher a student's high school rank, the lower the probability that participant experienced worsening health from 1992 to 2003.
Herd says she thought that conscientiousness might explain the finding, with those who are more conscientious doing better in school and taking better care of their health, but data don't support that.