A study, which included 3654 Vietnam War veterans, has found that men with lower IQs are more likely to suffer from loads of health issues – from hernias, to ear inflammation, to cataracts – compared with those showing greater intelligence.
“It poses the question to epidemiologists: why is it that intelligence is a predictor for things that seem so very far removed from the brain,” says Rosalind Arden, a psychologist at King”s College London, who led the study.
One evident counter-argument is that intelligent people make healthier choices.
“You could say: ”look, brighter people make better health decisions – they give up smoking when they find it”s bad for you, they take up exercise when they find out its good for you, and they eat a lot of salad”,” Arden says.
That”s perhaps true, she says, still her team found that indicators of healthy living, such as a low body mass index and not smoking, do not correlate with overall health of veterans as well as several tests of intelligence, reports New Scientist.
In the study, boffins reviewed data from a 1985 to 1986 study of Vietnam veterans led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into links between chemicals such as Agent Orange and health problems. Participants received thorough physical exams and took several intelligence tests.
The study has been published in the journal Intelligence.