Tags: Church-Going | May | Lengthen | Life

Church-Going May Lengthen Life

Tuesday, 04 April 2006 12:00 AM

Regular religious attendance can help people live longer, according to research from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Daniel Hall, a resident in general surgery as well as an Episcopal priest, reviewed recent life expectancy studies as they related to three distinct and commonplace activities -- regular exercise, standard therapeutic medical care, and religious attendance.

Hall's study found that the exercise added on the average three to five years to life expectancy, while regular medical care added two to four years. Regular religious attendance, he found, added two to three years. "While this study was not intended for use in clinical decision making, these findings tell us that there is something to examine further," commented Dr. Hall.

"The significance of this finding may prove to be controversial, but at the very least, it shows that further research into the associations between religion and health might have implications for medical practice," he said.

Dr. Hall also looked at the costs of these three activities by analyzing gym membership fees, medical costs, and data on contributions to religious institutions. He found that the annual costs of exercise was $4,000 compared to $10,000 for medical care and $7,000 for religious attendance.

Dr. Hall said prayer and religious attendance may promote health by reducing stress and loneliness.

"There is something about being knit into the type of community that religious communities embody that has a way of mediating a positive health effect," he told a reporter.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

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Regular religious attendance can help people live longer, according to research from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Daniel Hall, a resident in general surgery as well as an Episcopal priest, reviewed recentlife expectancy studies as they related to...
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2006-00-04
Tuesday, 04 April 2006 12:00 AM
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