Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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Faith Healing

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Does attending religious services make you healthier? It appears so.

Epidemiologist Ellen Idler, a professor at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, found that regular weekly attendance of any religion’s services leads to increased longevity in middle-aged people and seniors.

Even those who attend services less frequently had a greater protection against mortality than those who didn’t attend at all. There were no differences by religious affiliation. Idler and colleagues say it could be because religious people tend to have healthier habits, such as being less likely to smoke or drink alcohol and more likely to exercise and get health screenings.

People who attend religious services also experience social benefits linked to health, such as being part of a socially supportive community and volunteering to help others.

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