Religious people often out live says study

Does Being Religious Make You Live Longer?

This is due maybe to the fact that atheists and agnostics have taken over part of the life norms, patterns of behavior and habits of the faithful neighbors and friends, "said Laura Wallace, residing in the us state of Ohio". Other studies have shown that sociability contributes to a longer life, but researchers said it could only partly explain why religious people live longer than atheists.

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Dr Way added that there also may be a benefit from "stress reducing" activities such as meditation, yoga or prayer.

To come to this conclusion, the researchers also noted the person's age, sex and marital status, religious affiliation, as well as the number of social and volunteer activities listed.

The data revealed that those whose obituaries included a religious affiliation lived 9.45 years longer than those who did not - which dropped to 6.48 when gender and marital status were factored in.

"Religious affiliation had almost as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life", said Laura Wallace, the study's lead author and a Ohio State University doctoral student of psychology.

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Researchers assessed obituaries to calculate whether religious affiliations boost longevity.

"The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives", said Baldwin Way, an associate professor at Ohio State.

The study, published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, analysed more than 1,500 obituaries from across the US.

The effect may be especially pronounced in religiously cohesive communities. In highly religious cities where conformity was important, religious people tended to live longer than non-religious people.

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

The post also references a longterm study from a couple of years ago that found that regular church attendance may "lower the risk for premature death".

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