Thursday, July 21, 2016

Higher education associated with reduced heart failure risk after myocardial infarction

But why?  Easy:  Whenever it is examined, high IQ people are healthier -- and they also do best in the educational system.  This is an IQ effect.  High IQ is just one part of general biological good functioning

Higher education is associated with a reduced risk of developing heart failure after a heart attack, reports a study in more than 70,000 patients published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

"Heart failure is a serious complication of acute myocardial infarction and substantially increases the risk of death," said lead author Dr Gerhard Sulo, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bergen in Norway.

He continued: "Previous research has shown that patients are more likely to die after a heart attack if they have a lower educational level, but information on the mechanisms involved is sparse. Heart failure is the most important incident in the chain of events leading to death after a heart attack and we hypothesised that it might contribute to the observed educational disparities in survival."

The current study investigated the association between educational level and the risk of developing heart failure after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The study included 70 506 patients aged 35 to 85 years who had been hospitalised with a first (incident) AMI during 2001 to 2009 and did not have a history of heart failure. Patients were identified from the Cardiovascular Disease in Norway (CVDNOR) project, which contains data on all hospital stays with a cardiovascular disease-related diagnosis in Norway since 1994.

Information on the highest attained education level was obtained from the Norwegian National Education Database. Education was categorised as primary (up to 10 years of compulsory education), secondary (high school or vocational school), or tertiary education (college/university).

Patients were followed for an incident episode of heart failure until 31 December 2009. Based on its timing in relation to the incident AMI, heart failure was classified into two mutually exclusive categories; early-onset (heart failure on admission or developing during the hospitalisation for the incident AMI) and late-onset (either a new hospitalisation with heart failure or death due to heart failure after discharge from the incident AMI hospitalisation). Separate analyses were conducted for early and late-onset heart failure.

Of the 70 506 patients included in the analyses, 17.7% were diagnosed with early-onset heart failure. Patients with secondary or tertiary education had respectively 9% and 20% lower risk of heart failure compared to those with primary education.

Another 11.8% of patients were diagnosed with late-onset heart failure during an average follow up time of 3.4 years (interquartile range 1.5 to 5.9 years). Patients with secondary or tertiary education had respectively 14% and 27% lower risk of heart failure compared to patients with primary education.

When analyses were restricted to patients who received coronary revascularisation to clear blocked arteries after their AMI, those with secondary or tertiary education had respectively 16% and 33% lower risk of late-onset heart failure compared to those with primary education.

Educational differences in the risk of early-onset and late-onset heart failure were similar in men and women.

Dr Sulo said: "Education per se cannot be considered a 'protective exposure' in the classical sense but represents a clustering of characteristics that influence health behaviours and outcomes. It has been shown that patients with lower education tend to delay seeking medical care when heart attack symptoms occur and they have poorer access to specialised care. Both of these factors increase the risk of developing early-onset heart failure after AMI. Those with lower education are more likely to have coexisting medical conditions and unhealthy lifestyles which also increase the risk of heart failure."

He continued: "Patients with lower education are less likely to be prescribed medication after a heart attack to prevent heart failure, and they are also less likely to take their medication. This may explain the increased risk of late-onset heart failure."

Dr Sulo concluded: "Focused efforts are needed to ensure that heart attack patients with low education get help early, have equal access to treatment, take their medications, and are encouraged to improve their lifestyles. This should help reduce the socioeconomic gap in the risk of heart failure following a heart attack."



Three current articles below

A new Leftist horror coming to Australian education

The press release below is fairly bland and cautious but the Australian organization concerned is an acknowledged branch of the "Ashoka"  organization.  And if you read here you will see what that is all about.  Ashoka is  a movement to turn universities away from being mere educational institutions and making them into centres of agitation for "change".  No particular change is called for, just change for the sake of change apparently.  That rather makes it change as entertainment. 

But neophilia is indeed a major Leftist motive, as I showed long ago.  Conservatives by contrast want there to be good reasons for change.  They don't need to abuse the whole society for childish entertainment

One therefore rather wonders whether the taxpayer should be paying for Leftist entertainment.  The taxpayer already pays for a lot of Leftist propaganda in the universities. Is that not enough?

Given the vast expense of the Australian university system, one would hope for it to be used for serious purposes -- such as transmitting and developing knowledge.  Taking energies away from that can hardly be a right use of university facilities

 A visitor from Glasgow Caledonian University, Julie Adair is keen to expand her ‘Common Good First’ project into Australia, capturing stories of community social impact across a wide range of areas.

 Ms Adair is Director, Digital Collaboration for GCU and also has an extensive background in broadcasting with the BBC and the Walt Disney Company, with experience across several continents.

 Common Good First is a digital exchange of grassroots solutions to pressing social problems, both in the UK and around the world. The Common Good First team has worked with a range of community projects to, first, promote their objectives online and then to investigate how cross-disciplinary academic networks could input innovative approaches to social change in response to the challenges the projects are facing.

 “Stories take us beyond our own limited experiences and allow us to walk in the shoes of others, building knowledge of unknown places and understanding of diverse peoples,” Ms Adair says.

 As her home institution is registered as an ‘Ashoka U Changemaker Campus’, Ms Adair is this week visiting the Melbourne Campus of CQUniversity, which has recently become Australia’s first approved Ashoka U institution.

 She will talk about the project she started in 2015 with two small teams in Scotland and South Africa, each focusing on identifying and capturing stories of community social impact.

 The project focused on individuals within communities who had found innovative ways to solve problems in their community.

 “These activities ranged from re-educating prisoners to raising aspirations for young people in areas of high deprivation; from tackling dementia to supporting orphans and vulnerable children,” Ms Adair says.  “Now in Australia I’m keen to express the importance of storytelling and its role in driving social innovation and also why I’m keen to gather and curate stories from around the world.

 “I’m keen to let people know how they can become part of our exciting project.

More via this

Calls for intervention over Sydney girls’ school gender neutral language policy

A LEADING Sydney girls’ school’s decision to eliminate gender-specific terms from its teachers’ vocabularies has prompted calls for sackings and government intervention at the exclusive institution.

Teachers at the prestigious northwest Sydney school, Cheltenham Girls High School, have been asked to stop referring to students as “girls”, “ladies” and “women”, and use only gender-neutral language, The Daily Telegraph today reported.

The request was put to teachers at a staff meeting earlier this year discussing the implementation of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, the newspaper reports.

It was suggested to teachers that by using such language they could be seen to be breaking the law and could be at risk of being sued by LGBTI students.

Discussing the article on Sydney radio station 2GB, talkback shock jock Chris Smith described the arrangement as “deplorable”.

“They’ve been scared into doing this by whoever’s pushing that twisted bible the Safe Schools program, and they’re scared of somehow being sued,” he said.

Smith took calls from listeners calling for the minister responsible to step in and the teachers, principals and administrative staff to be sacked and the school taken over by administrators.

He said if the school was serious about its new language policy, it should take its signage with white paint, eliminating the world “girls” from its title.  “You just wonder what world we’re talking about, we’re talking about our suburbs,” he said.

Speaking on Seven’s Sunrise program, former news presenter Ron Wilson described the situation as “ridiculous”.  “Let’s step in and put a new board in place just like Parramatta,” he said.

There has been similar commentary on Nine’s Today this morning, with Sunday Mail editor Peter Gleeson telling the program the initiative was “overreach at its worst”.

“I am all for diversity and making sure that our younger generation understand exactly what is going on within the community, but to implement something like this, it’s just ridiculous.”

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has asked his department to investigate.

In an interview with Macquarie Radio, the Minister confirmed there was a meeting at the school reminding teachers of discriminatory language and denied it was connected to Safe Schools. “I don’t think there’s anything improper about that,” he said.

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education told gender-specific terms would still be used by teachers at the school.  “Gender-specific terms will continue to be used by Cheltenham Girls’ High School when referring to students.

“As the Education Minister has asked the Department for a report on public claims raised in relation to this matter, it is not appropriate to comment further on them at this time.”


UK takes new technical education track

The British government’s recent plan for English technical education is a rejection of markets and competency-based training. It also reverses the convergence of vocational and academic education that has been a major trend for decades in Australia, Britain and the US.

What the British government describes as the most significant transformation of post-school education in 70 years is likely to be influential here because of the extensive policy borrowing between Australia and Britain.

Both countries have followed each other in establishing and then abolishing university grants commissions, establishing polytechnics (colleges of advanced education), collapsing polytechnics into universities, introducing income-contingent loans, establishing associate degrees or foundation degrees, and establishing research excellence assessments.

Britain’s Post-16 Skills Plan proposes to collapse 21,000 qualifications into 15 technical education routes. In Britain, vocational qualifications are awarded by 158 organisations, many of which are private for-profits that multiply qualifications to increase their market share. In a passage that could have been written about Australia, the plan rejects the market in qualifications: “Instead of competition between different awarding organisations leading to better quality and innovation in the design of qualifications, it can lead to a ‘race to the bottom’ in which awarding organisations compete to offer qualifications that are easier to pass and therefore of lower value.”

The plan establishes two educational tracks for students after age 16 by building a technical education track to complement the already well established academic track. The technical track, in turn, will have two options: college-based technical education that will include industry placements, and employment-based technical education such as apprenticeships, which include at least 20 per cent college-based education.

College-based technical education will extend to diploma level, and employment-based technical education will extend to bachelor level, incorporating the 1000 degree apprenticeships that have been established since 2013.

The government’s plan closely follows a report by an independent panel that was chaired by former science and innovation minister David Sainsbury and included Alison Wolf, a professor at King’s College London, who has influenced both sides of politics.

The panel rejected basing qualifications on national occupational standards, Britain’s version of our training packages. Again in a passage that applies directly to Australia, the panel states that national occupational standards “have been derived through a functional analysis of job roles and this has often led to an atomistic view of education and a rather tick-box approach to assessment. As such we do not consider them to be fit-for-purpose for use in the design of the technical education routes.”

The panel also rejects public funding being allocated to for-profit providers. Recent Australian statistics show that last year private providers offered 46 per cent of government-funded vocational education in Australia and 69 per cent in Queensland.

The British panel estimated that at least 30 per cent of technical education funding was allocated to private providers.

The panel argued: “Given what appears to be the highly unusual nature of this arrangement compared to other countries and the high costs associated with offering world-class technical education, we see a strong case for public funding for education and training to be restricted to institutions where surpluses are reinvested into the country’s education infrastructure.” The panel also stated that “publicly subsidised technical education … should be delivered under not-for-profit arrangements”.

This would be a significant reversal for Australia, where private provision has exploded from 29 per cent of government-funded vocational education in 2011.

Britain will implement its Post-16 Skills Plan while the country introduces an apprenticeship levy from April next year. This levy is similar to Australia’s training guarantee, introduced a year after HECS in 1990 but discontinued in 1994. It will require employers with a payroll of more than £3 million ($5.2m) to spend 0.5 per cent of their payroll on apprenticeships.

These changes will be undertaken by a restructured bureaucracy. New British Prime Minister Theresa May has moved responsibility for further and higher education from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to an enlarged Department for Education.


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