This isn't news, but it's interesting in light of my earlier post on youth and STDs that "Churchgoing improves life expectancy".

The research looked at 4,000 old people from North Carolina, and found that of the 1,177 who died during a six-year period, 22.9% were frequent church attenders, compared with 37.4 who were infrequent attenders.

Similar results were produced by the University of California at Berkeley in a study of some 5,000 people aged 21 to 65.

Those who attended religious services at least once a week had a 23% lower risk of dying over the 28 years on which the research was based.

Not only that, but the lives of church-goers may also be of higher quality.

In addition, lower levels of depression are known to have a wider health benefit.

In addition, religion provides a coping mechanism for stressful events or physical illness.

Devout worshippers are far less likely to fall back on harmful habits such as drinking or smoking.

Dr Koenig said: "Such positive feelings may counteract stress and convey health effects, like enhanced immune function, that go far beyond the prevention of depression and other negative emotions."

Yes, it says "in addition" twice... my advisor would never let me write something that sloppy. Anyway, as I've said before, Christianity appears to be a very advantageous meme. Plus, you'll get more Social Security money.



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