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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 11, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 09Jun00

Summarized by Eileen Bell

Religion good for your health
Evansville IN Courier & Press 5Jun00 N6
By LEE BOWMAN, Scripps Howard News Service

EVANSVILLE, INDIANA -- Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have long known that the Word of Wisdom has helped with health matters. Now comes word that stats show being an active member of this Church, or other churches, also helps your health.

A study done by the (U.S) National Institute for Healthcare Research indicates that people who participate in organized religion are 29 percent more likely to live longer.

Psychologist Michael McCullough led a team that analyzed 42 other studies done in the last 30 years. In all, data from 126 thousand people came under the magnifying glass.

McCullough says, "We think this analysis pretty much establishes that this correlation of religious involvement and mortality exists, but also points to the need for a lot more research to determine just how and why it has an effect."

He says this is just the starting point for the research. "We have miles to go before we have a good understanding of what's happening. Compared to the research done on smoking or gender and mortality, this is a tiny, tiny effort."

And he says it's not just a matter of people who are active in their churches having a wider circle of friends. "It's a given that in religious organizations, people find new sources of social support that tends to make people healthier, but in most of the studies, that social support is factored out, yet the religious are still more likely to live longer."

For more information, you can check out the full article in the new issue of Health Psychology, a journal of the American Psychological Association.


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