Dropping out of school and chronic disease in the United States

Michael G. Vaughn, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Brandy R. Maynard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Despite links between education and health, it is unclear to what extent dropping out of school is associated with major chronic health conditions. Subjects and Methods: Data from the 2006-2010 United States National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) was employed and examined associations between dropping out of school and major chronic health conditions among individuals 18 years or older (N = 189,896). Results: Analyses show that dropout status is associated with increased odds of reporting a major chronic health condition; however, the effect is stronger for Whites and African-Americans than Hispanics. Conclusions: Study findings suggest that one important strategy to prevent and reduce health disparities is increased education in general including high school completion. Policies and practices that reduce dropout may in turn impact the prevalence of chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Public Health (Germany)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors are grateful for support from the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, the Institute of Educational Sciences grants (R324A100022 & R324B080008) and from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P50 HD052117). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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