A 30-year health study in the United States has shown that the advancement of education could have a direct inverse link with blood pressure - the higher the degree held by a person, the lower his blood pressure.

The Framingham Offspring study that analysed health data of some 4000 individuals in the U.S. over 30 years found that systolic blood pressure levels of men who had gone on to study in graduate school were 2.26 mmHg lower than those of high school dropouts. For women, the differential was even higher at 3.26 mmHg.

Even when adjustments were made for blood pressure medication, alcohol consumption, obesity and smoking, the differences were evident - an average of 2.86mmHg for women and 1.25 mmHg for men.

The benefits of graduate or higher education were also noted, albeit with lower differentials, when the readings were compared with those of men and women who completed bachelor's or associate's degrees but did not continue with graduate studies.

Systolic hypertension is considered to be one of the major triggers of ailments and of heart disease, in particular. Findings from the mentioned study could therefore explain to some extent the association between education and lower cardiac risks as substantiated in several documented studies in developed countries.