Does Being Religious Make You Live Longer?

16 June, 2018, 21:00 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Does Being Religious Make You Live Longer?

We found that volunteerism and involvement in social organisations only accounted for a little less than one year of the longevity boost that religious affiliation provided.

People with "religious affilications" live four years longer than people who agnostic of atheistic, a new study has found. The research, which analysed the obituaries of more than 1,000 people across the United States, suggested that there is a link between religious attendance and life expectancy. "Religious Affiliation in One's Obituary and Longevity".

A second study examined 1,096 obituaries from 42 major cities that were published between August 2010 and August 2011. But the research team noted that numerous religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previously have been linked to living longer.

That four-year increase was calculated after the researchers accounted for gender and marital status, two factors that have a strong effect on life span.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live. After accounting for gender and marital status, religious people still lived an average of 6.48 years longer than their nonreligious counterparts.

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"The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives", said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State University. In the documents studied religious affiliation and way of life of the deceased.

The authors suggested that the remaining life expectancy might be a result of religious people being more likely to abstain from alcohol and drug use and other behaviours that could affect life expectancy, although those details normally aren't included in obituaries.

'The spillover effect only occurs in highly religious cities that aren't too concerned about everyone conforming to the same norms.

Describing the study, Wallace said: 'The positive health effects of religion spill over to the non-religious in some specific situations.

Those visiting church at least once a week were found to have 33% lower risk of death than those who never went.

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