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Can increasing years of schooling reduce type 2 diabetes (T2D)?--Evidence from a Mendelian randomization of T2D and 10 of its risk factors.
Brian B. Boutwell
Charleen D. Adams
Novel Coronavirus
Acceso Abierto
A focus in recent decades has involved examining the potential causal impact of educational attainment (schooling years) on a variety of disease and life-expectancy outcomes. Numerous studies have broadly revealed a link suggesting that as years of formal schooling increase so too does health and wellbeing; however, it is unclear whether the associations are causal. Here we use Mendelian randomization, an instrumental variables technique, to probe whether more years of schooling are causally linked to type 2 diabetes (T2D) and 10 of its risk factors. The results reveal a protective effect of more schooling years against T2D (odds ratio=0.39; 95% confidence interval: 0.26, 0.58; P=3.89 x 10-06), which might be mediated in part by more years of schooling being protective against the following: having a first-degree relative with diabetes, being overweight, and having high blood pressure, higher levels of circulating triglycerides, and lower levels of HDL cholesterol. More schooling years had no effect on risk for gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome and was associated with a decreased likelihood of moderate physical activity. These findings imply that strategies to retain adults in higher education may help reduce the risk for a major source of metabolic morbidity and mortality. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. ### Funding Statement No funding. ### Author Declarations All relevant ethical guidelines have been followed; any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained and details of the IRB/oversight body are included in the manuscript. Yes All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived. Yes I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance). Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable. Yes Data availability. All data sources are publicly available and are accessible within MR-Base: <>
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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