Intelligent people have longer life expectancy

According to a long-term study, intelligence could be more important for life expectancy than weight or blood prere

With intelligence one presumably not only gets through life better, one also lives longer. That’s what british scientists from the centre for cognitive ageing and cognitive epidemiology at edinburgh university and the medical research council in glasgow have found.

Intelligence can be many things. For their study, which appeared in the journal intelligence, the researchers used data from a long-term survey of more than 7.000 persons evaluated. In the mid-1980s, data was collected on lifestyles, socioeconomic status, and health interceptions. Besides weight, alcohol and smoking consumption, the reaction time for decisions, or more precisely: for a choice (crt for choice reaction time), is also important. For the experiment, the correct one of 5 buttons had to be pressed when a number appeared on the screen. Whether this is an expression of intelligence remains to be seen, but it can be amed that many computer gamers score well here.

After 20 years, almost 1.300 people died, 568 from heart failure. Several risk factors for mortality were studied. It had turned out that intelligence in the sense of a fast selection reaction time could apparently have something to do with a longer life probability. It was even more important than blood prere, physical activity or weight, which could mean that intelligence could reduce other risk factors. Both women and men who had a slow reaction time were 2.6 times more likely to die prematurely. Only smoking is more deadly. Among the people who died of heart failure, blood prere was in first place, and reaction time was again found in second place.

Intelligence could mean to live more carefully, that is, to watch the diet, not to smoke and not to drink alcohol. However, this could not really be true if we look at intellectuals or artists, who not only commit vices, but often die at an early age. Moreover, fast perceptual decision makers could not necessarily be capable of solving complex problems at the same time. In any case, scientists believe that intelligence in the form of fast reaction time is a measure of how quickly the brain processes information in general. This again is a reference to the "physical system integrity". Slow response times were then an indicator for "suboptimal physiological performance". Anyway, it is an interesting correlation.

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