A recently published study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health has linked higher education to "a heightened risk of developing" brain tumors.
The observational study conducted in Sweden shows that men and women who attended college for a minimum of 3 years were roughly 20% more likely to develop a glioma than those who completed only the minimum national education requirement.
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That type of tumor is a cancerous one and forms in the glial cells located near the brain's neurons.
University-educated women also developed meningioma, a largely non-cancerous type of tumor that forms in the tissue outside of the spinal cord and brain, at an increased rate of 16%.
For the study, researchers gathered and analyzed data of 4.3 million Swedes who were born between 1911 and 1961. That group was then monitored for tumor development from 1993 to 2010.
The research team notes that as the study was observational, cause and effect have not been firmly established. However, they point out that what they did discover was consistent.
According to Amal Khanolkar, one of the authors of the study, one explanation for the findings is that "people in higher socioeconomic positions are more likely to seek care at an earlier stage of the disease process."
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