Warum leben kluge Menschen länger?

EDINBURGH – Menschen, die in ihrer Kindheit und Jugend bei Intelligenztests gut abschneiden, leben tendenziell länger. Zu diesem Ergebnis kam man in Australien, Dänemark, England, Wales, Schottland, Schweden und in den Vereinigten Staaten.  Eigentlich kam man überall, wo entsprechende Studien durchgeführt wurden, zu diesem Resultat.

Die Auswirkungen der Intelligenz auf die Mortalität stehen denen bekannter Risikofaktoren wie Bluthochdruck, Übergewicht, hoher Blutzucker und hohe Cholesterinwerte um nichts nach. Der Einfluss der Intelligenz ist beinahe ebenso signifikant wie der des Rauchens.

Die Unterschiede in menschlicher Intelligenz sind auf Umwelteinflüsse und genetische Faktoren zurückzuführen. Ein bestimmter bei einem Intelligenztest in der Kindheit erzielter Wert ist teilweise das Ergebnis jener Spuren, die das Umfeld in Gehirn und dem Rest des Körpers bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt hinterlassen hat. Babys mit niedrigerem Geburtsgewicht, beispielsweise, neigen im späteren Leben eher zur Ausbildung chronischer Krankheiten. Außerdem verfügen sie im Durchschnitt über eine niedrigere Intelligenz. Allerdings konnte bei Tests zur Frage, ob ein niedriges Geburtsgewicht einen Teil des Zusammenhangs zwischen Intelligenz und Mortalität erklären können, keine derartige Verbindung nachgewiesen werden.

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