Good to know, when health care spending has gone from 7% to 18% of GDP in recent years:
One leading researcher has identified a key to health often ignored by the medical establishment: The Great Physician. Practicing psychiatrist Harold G. Koenig, M.D. has long documented the surprising links between religious faith and better health outcomes. He’s now got further research to back up his claim.
“There is considerable evidence that religious people do, in fact, live longer and are happier,” said Koenig in a phone interview from Duke University. “Frequency of attending religious services seems to be one of the most powerful predictors.”
In 1998, Koenig became founding director of The Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health. As part of Duke University Medical Center, Koenig and his team conduct research and chronicle how religion and spirituality are linked to health.
Their research work includes the 1,169-page volume Handbook of Religion and Health, 2nd Edition (2012) and countless practical guides now used by practitioners. The Center recently completed its annual week-long training conference on religion and health research. More than 50 people from a half-dozen countries participated, from a variety of faith traditions.Josh Shepherd, “Medical Researcher Reveals Surprising Benefits of Attending Religious Services” at The Stream
Some of us think that this kind of data is thought-provoking but fuzzy.
One question: Who usually attends religious services? Not the guy who is dead drunk at the bottom of the stairs or the one who is lying in wait for a passerby. Or the one fixing a noose to hang himself.
The attendees are self-selected to know they need help with daily living and attending services is part of an overall lifestyle which aims at, among other things, wellness.
Most religious groups offer lifestyle precepts or commands and the more devout a follower is, the more likely those precepts/commands are to be followed. Just not drinking, smoking, or doing drugs usually means more years to a person’s life. So it is not surprising that the more frequently a person attends services, the more likely they are to live a long time. How do we tease out the part that spirituality plays?
Of course, longevity is not all there is to religion! But if we are talking about why religious people live longer, well, these are some clues to start with. – O’Leary for News
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham
See also: Sceptic asks, why do people who abandon religion embrace superstition? Belief in God is declining and belief in ghosts and witches is rising
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