Childhood intelligence predicts premature mortality: Results from a 40-year population-based longitudinal study

Marius Wrulich (Corresponding Author), Gertraud Stadler, Martin Brunner, Ulrich Keller, Romain Martin

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Childhood intelligence has been shown to predict mortality risk in adulthood. This relation has never been investigated in a Central European country with universal health care. The present study investigated whether childhood intelligence predicts mortality risk across 40 years in Luxembourg. 2543 participants completed an intelligence test at age 12 in 1968, and the mortality rate in this sample until 2008 was recorded. Our results showed that higher childhood intelligence predicted a lower risk for mortality, even when childhood socioeconomic status was controlled for. This effect was strongest in men belonging to the group of the lowest 20% in intelligence. These results indicate that even universal access to health care cannot fully offset the cumulative effects of intelligence on mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-10
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Early online date20 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015



  • childhood intelligence
  • premature mortality
  • socioeconomic status
  • universal health care

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