Religious people live four years longer than atheists study finds

Being Religious Elongates Life Span than Atheists

A new larger analysis of more than 1,100 obituaries conducted by a team of researchers from the Ohio State University reveals that the people having amalgamations with some religion i.e. religious affiliations may have chance to live almost four years longer than the people without any religious ties, known as atheists.

Although backed by little scientific evidence, a new study has analysed just over 1,600 American local newspaper obituaries - and it discovered that religious followers often live for up to six years more than their faithless counterparts.

For the main part of the study, the academics used more than 1,000 obituaries from newspapers in 42 states.

Part of the reason is that religious people tend to participate in more social activities, which is often linked to living longer, Ohio State University psychology researchers said.

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Religious people are less prone to bad habits and stress. That analysis showed people whose obituaries included their religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those who didn't. The gap shrunk to 6.48 years after gender and marital status were taken into account. But in cities that were not too concerned about making everyone conform, non-religious people lived as long as religious people did.

Lifestyle guidelines, such as abstaining from drinking alcohol or taking drugs, could explain the boost, as well as practices which ease stress, such as praying or meditating. "There is still a lot of the benefit of religious affiliation that this can't explain", Wallace said.

While the study had the advantage of not using self-reported data when determining religious affiliation, it also had limitations such as lacking the inclusion of factors like race and health behaviors. So, the researchers noted that more research is required to look at the role those factors play in the relationship between religion and longevity, adding that these findings are preliminary and need to be replicated in other studies.

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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