Ohio study of 4,000 obituaries shows religious people living 5 years longer than atheists

Ohio U study of obituaries shows religious people living 5.5 years longer than atheists

The Culture
[UK Evening Standard] If you attend church religiously – excuse the pun – we have some good news: a study has uncovered that religious people tend to live up to six years longer than atheists and agnostics.

VIDEO: [Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health] Another long-term study of 70,000 women by epidemiologist Tyler Vanderweele concludes regularly attending religious services appears to significantly boost mental and physical health.


Research conducted by academics at Ohio State University analysed over 1,500 obituaries from local American newspapers, looking at religious affiliations, marital statuses, hobbies and other activities.

Their findings revealed that those people whose obituaries referenced religious affiliations tended to live up to 5.64 years longer than those that did not.

On reflection, this seems fairly logical. Religious communities provide ample opportunity for socialisation and activity, which can help keep such conditions as loneliness, and inactive living – which both might lessen life length – at bay.

Interestingly, however, the study’s analysis of ‘other activities’ revealed they didn’t impact on life expectancy as much as religion itself.

“We found that volunteerism and involvement in social organisations only accounted for a little less than one year of the longevity boost that religious affiliation provided,” said Laura Wallace, leader of the study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

This article continues at [UK Evening Standard] Religiously observant people live longer than atheists, study finds

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