Go to Church. You'll Live Longer.

I'm going back to church.

People who do this live longer.

At least that's what a new study has found, according to The New York Times. 

Researchers used data from a long-term study of 75,534 women that tracked their health and lifestyle, including their attendance at religious services, over 16 years through 2012. 

After controlling for more than two dozen factors, they found that compared with those who never went to church, going more than once a week was associated with a 33 percent lower risk for death from any cause, attending once a week with a 26 percent lower risk, and going less than once a week a 13 percent lowered risk.

Risks for mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer followed a similar pattern.
The researchers statistically eliminated the possibility of reverse causation — that is, that healthy people go to church more than unhealthy ones. And they found that some variables, such as social support and a tendency not to smoke, contributed to the effect. But no matter how they analyzed the data, the effect of church attendance alone seemed to have benefits.

“This suggests that there is something powerful about the communal religious experience,” The Times quotes senior author, Tyler J. VanderWeele, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard. “These are systems of thought and practice shaped over millennia, and they are powerful.”

I used to be a regular churchgoer but stopped earlier this year, finding other things to do with my time.  But maybe I better go back.

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