University Degree Increases Risk of Getting Brain Tumors


Experts have found out that going to a university can increase the person’s risk of getting a brain tumor, and the recent study shows that highly educated individuals are more likely to suffer from brain tumors compared to people who do not move forward in their education.

Gliomas, a malignant tumor of the glial tissue of a person’s nervous system, are the most common type of brain tumor, which became more mature in the main supporting cells in the person’s brain, called glial cells.

Researchers discovered that gliomas are more common among individuals who are university-educated. But, they did not recognize the justification for the apparent link.

Experts at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and University College London – inspect the data in detail to determine the 4.3 million people born in Sweden between 1911 and 1961.

The experts tracked the people down between 1993 and 2010 and discovered that 5,700 men and 7,100 women were diagnosed with brain tumors.

The researchers then examined the people’s lifestyle factors that include education levels, marital status and amount of disposable income.

As stated by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published study, men with a university level education were 19 percent more likely to acquire a glioma compared to men without.

Among women, the risk  for glioma was 23 percent higher, and 16 percent higher for meningioma – a tumor usually benign, arising in the meninges, which are the tissues that cover and protect the person’s brain and spinal cord.

However, no evidence was found by researchers that university is actually the cause of brain tumors, merely that those people who attend universities are more likely to develop them compared to individuals with low education levels.

Compared with those people in manual roles, both men and women in professional and managerial roles were more liable to suffer from brain tumors.

Men with the highest levels of income were 14 percent more likely to get a brain tumor than those with the lowest disposable income.

Married men had a higher risk of glioma than single men, however, single men had a higher risk of meningioma. These links were not found among women.

University College London’s lead author – Dr. Amal Khanolkar, stated that

“This detailed investigation and analysis found consistent associations across indicators of higher socioeconomic position and increased risk of glioma in both genders.”

The researchers made it known that it was an observational study, so no firm decision reached by reasoning could be drawn about cause and effect.

They also made a point that they were not able to extract information from potentially influential lifestyle factors.

But the researchers emphasized that their findings were important for the reason of the large number of individuals studied in the research.

The chairman of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York – Dr. Raj K. Narayan, stated that it has been an ‘urban legend’ among neurosurgeons that the highly educated people are more likely to get brain tumors.

However, Dr. Narayan somewhat was shocked to find that this may actually be true. Dr. Narayan said that a person having a greater brain activity might somehow increase their risk of brain tumors.

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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