Women who attend church services regularly are more likely to live longer, a 16-year study has shown, according to FoxNews.com.
The study monitored a group of nearly 75,000 women and measured their church attendance from 1996 through 2012. Most women identified as either Protestant or Catholic.
About 14,000 of the women participating in the study attended church more than once a week, about 30,400 attended once a week, and about 12,000 attended less than once a week. Additionally, 18,000 never attended church services.
Women who attended church services regularly were found to be 33 percent less likely to die during the study period compared with those who never attended. Women who attended services less than once a week were 23 percent less likely to die, and women who attended once a week were 26 percent less likely to die.
Overall, the study found that the frequency of church attendance correlated to a lesser likelihood of death from a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Researchers reported that the cause and effect of church attendance and longer life is still difficult to quantify, but results provide a fascinating discovery.
"That we had data on both service attendance and health repeatedly over time helps provide evidence about the direction of causality,” stated Tyler J. VanderWeele, of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
Dr. Dan German Blaze, of Duke University Medical Center, also commented on the study: "Though we do not know the mechanisms, research and especially this study, emphasize the importance of religious service attendance to health."
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: May 17, 2016