Culture, Mishegas

How To Avoid Dying

A study published by researchers at Yeshiva University and its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, strongly suggests that regular attendance at religious services reduces the risk of death by approximately 20%. The findings, published in Psychology and Health, were based on data drawn from participants who spanned numerous religious denominations.

To evaluate the impact of religiosity on mortality and morbidity, the investigators looked at variables including self-report of religious affiliation, frequency of religious service attendance, and religious strength as well as comfort, in relation to coronary heart disease (CHD) and death. It is important to note that the study did not attempt to measure spirituality; rather, it examined self-report religiosity measures (irrespective of the participant’s religion).
Those attending religious services at least once per week showed a 20% mortality risk reduction mark compared with those not attending services at all. These findings corroborate prior studies that have shown up to a 25% reduction in such risk. [Read more.]

I would like to thank the various independent minyanim that I attend on a regular basis for existing as, it seems, they’re to thank for my recent “got off easy” car accident. (What? I’m not properly understanding the conclusions?)

4 thoughts on “How To Avoid Dying

  1. I’m not getting how this study shows that attendence at religious services CAUSES a reduction in mortality. It seems it would just show a correlation between people who attend religious services and reduced mortality. In other words, (as the study authors note) there could be a common cause of both service attendence and health. It’s still interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into “If you start attending services, you will have a decreased risk of dying.” If you wanted to show that, you should ASSIGN people randomly to either attend services or not, and then follow up on the outcome.

  2. did they compare these people to people with other strong social affiliations, like volunteers or regular book clubs? compared to people who spend lots of time with friends or family?

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