Education is a social determinant of health. Higher educational attainment, particularly post secondary education, is associated with better health.
But is that the whole story? Maybe not.
Patterns of Adapting to Health and Health Status. In a sample of over 20,000 adults, those with Pattern 8 reported the highest health status (red line in graph), well above adults dominated by any other PATH after controlling for educational level.
Patterns of Adapting to Health (PATH) and Achieving Post Secondary Education. In the same sample, the Patterns of Adapting to Health significantly predicted the odds of achieving post secondary education, with adults dominated by Pattern 7 and the high health status Pattern 8 adults showing the highest odds.
Conclusion. Improved health associated with achieving higher education may be partially explained by the greater frequency of Pattern 8 adults among those reporting post secondary education experience.
Implications. The strength of education as a social determinant of health needs further study. It may, in fact, benefit from the naturally higher health status of adults with Pattern 8 more frequently pursue and achieve higher education.