Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Shows Religion Plays A Major Role In Health, Longevity

Date:
May 17, 1999
Source:
University Of Colorado At Boulder
Summary:
Being good has its rewards in this life, as well as in the next. Research conducted partly at the University of Colorado at Boulder has found that regular churchgoers live longer than people who seldom or never attend worship services.

Being good has its rewards in this life, as well as in the next.

Research conducted partly at the University of Colorado at Boulder has found that regular churchgoers live longer than people who seldom or never attend worship services.

For the first time, that extra lifespan has been quantified. While there are differences between genders and races, in general those who go to church once or more each week can look forward to about seven more years than those who never attend.

Life expectancy beyond age 20 averages another 55.3 years, to age 75, for those who never attend church compared to another 62.9 years, age 83, for those who go more than once a week.

The research showed that people who never attended services had an 87 percent higher risk of dying during the follow-up period than those who attended more than once a week.

The research also revealed that women and blacks can enjoy especially longer lives if they are religiously active.

The findings are contained in a study conducted jointly by Rick Rogers, of CU-Boulder, Robert Hummer and Christopher Ellison, of the University of Texas at Austin, and Charles Nam, from Florida State University.

Rogers is a professor of sociology and a professional research associate with the population program at the university's Institute of Behavioral Science. The study drew on a 1987 National Health Interview Survey of more than 28,000 people and focused on more than 2,000 who died between 1987 and 1995.

Rogers said previous studies had examined and established links between religion, health outcomes and lower risks of mortality but this research broke new ground by testing those relationships against a number of variables.

The research team factored in such elements as education and income, social ties (including marital status and having friends and relatives to count on), and health status and behavior, including such things as smoking and alcohol use.

For example, educated and better off people, who have lower mortality, were more likely to attend church, while churchgoers generally were less likely to engage in such high risk health behaviors as smoking and excessive drinking.

Frequent churchgoers were also more likely to take part in social activities and enjoy a good supporting network of family and friends, which could help them avoid, or at least cope better with, times of stress or personal difficulty.

However, even after taking into account all these external factors and controlling the independent variables, the researchers found a "strong association" still persisted between infrequent or no religious attendance and higher mortality risk.

Researchers also found distinct and related patterns when looking at causes of death. For example, those who never attend services are about twice as likely to die from respiratory disease, diabetes or infectious diseases.

Rogers said this research established the importance of religious involvement as a fundamental cause of mortality. It also opened the door to further research perhaps examining religious attendance by denomination and looking at the less tangible spiritual issues.

The research findings were published this month in the latest edition of the prestigious national journal Demography and will be included in a book, "Living and Dying in the USA," due out in August.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Colorado At Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Colorado At Boulder. "Research Shows Religion Plays A Major Role In Health, Longevity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990517064323.htm>.
University Of Colorado At Boulder. (1999, May 17). Research Shows Religion Plays A Major Role In Health, Longevity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990517064323.htm
University Of Colorado At Boulder. "Research Shows Religion Plays A Major Role In Health, Longevity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990517064323.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins