Study: Frequent Church Attendance Can Add Years to Your Life


Via CBS Philly:

Many Americans say they attend church because it helps them stay grounded and gives them spiritual guidance. A new study suggests that regular attendance may also help increase their lifespan.

Researchers looked at data on nearly 75,000 middle-age female nurses in the United States as part of the Nurses’ Health Study. The participants answered questions about whether they attended religious services regularly every four years between 1992 and 2012, and about other aspects of their lives over the years.

The researchers found that women who went to church more than once a week had a 33% lower risk of dying during the study period compared with those who said they never went. Less-frequent attendance was also associated with a lower risk of death, as women who attended once a week or less than weekly had 26% and 13% lower risk of death, respectively.

Women who regularly attended religious services also had higher rates of social support and optimism, had lower rates of depression and were less likely to smoke. However, the researchers took into account these differences between churchgoers and non-churchgoers when they calculated the decrease in death rates of 13% to 33%.


Yes, it’s a bit of a limited study, but on the list of things one could try for a happier, longer life, going to church a little more isn’t exactly an awful thing to suggest to someone.

Throw in this study that suggests highly religious Roman Catholics are happier and I’m dabbling in optimism in a way I haven’t since I was eight and didn’t know any better.

Honestly, clinging to faith and religious tradition during a time when all politics feels like a fire that people are trying to douse with gasoline seems like the soundest plan I can have to navigate the next couple of years.


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