[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 23:30 GMT 00:30 UK
Arts students 'die young'
Students in bar
Do arts students smoke more than scientists?
The university course you pick may be related to the length of your life ahead and the way you die, say researchers.

Although the precise cause is unclear, a study of thousands of former students of Glasgow University found that arts and law students were most likely to die early.

Science, engineering and medical students lived longer, although medics were most likely to die from alcohol-related causes.

Causes of death varied widely between the different faculties.

With arts and social science students being the most likely to indulge in cigarette smoking, our results suggest that successful strategies to stop this habit would contribute greatly to disease prevention
Study authors
Arts students were most likely to die from lung cancer or other forms of respiratory disease.

Medics, on the other hand, were more likely to die as a result of accidents, suicide and violence.

Also conforming to stereotypes were divinity students - who tended to have much lower blood pressure than other types of graduate.

The study was carried out by researchers in Belfast, Glasgow and Bristol, and published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Childhood reason

The reasons for this difference may be found back in the childhood of the students, say the researchers.

Medical and science students were far more likely to come from more affluent backgrounds, they said.

They wrote: "Arts students were more likely to have experienced socioeconomic deprivation in childhood."

However, it could simply be the case that the "arts" culture was more likely to result in a student who smoked.

Doctors were just as likely to smoke as students, said the researchers, but more likely to quit to set a good example for their patients once they reached hospital.

The researchers wrote: "With 40% of 18-year-olds currently attending higher education, and with arts and social science students being the most likely to indulge in cigarette smoking, our results suggest that successful strategies to stop this habit would contribute greatly to disease prevention."


SEE ALSO:


RELATED BBCi LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific