A belief in God may make people healthier and happier, according to new studies.
"Studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick—and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster," Duke University's Harold G. Koenig, M.D., tells Newsmax Health.
The analysis of more than 1,500 medical studies showed that “people who are more religious and pray more have better mental and physical health,” Koenig said. The results come from a study published in the Southern Medical Journal.
"And out of 125 studies that looked at the link between health and regular worship, 85 showed regular churchgoers live longer,” said Koenig, director of Duke’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health.”
Researcher and writer Tom Knox agreed with the findings. Knox was an atheist who became a Christian after studying faith and medicine.
"What I discovered astonished me," Knox said. "Over the past 30 years a growing and largely unnoticed body of scientific work shows religious belief is medically, socially, and psychologically beneficial."
In 2006, a study from the University of Texas found that the more often you attend church, the longer you live.
"There is a seven-year difference in life expectancy between those who never attend church and those who attend weekly,” Knox said.
Charisma News reports another 2006 study found that church-goers also have lower blood pressure than non-believers and are less likely to have children with meningitis.
Publication date: April 6, 2015