Going to church lowers the chance of demise "out of desperation"

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A study of the well-being of healthcare workers in the United States found that those who attend church services regularly are at lower risk of alcohol, drug, or suicide deaths, collectively referred to as "desperate deaths".

Researchers at T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University published a study in JAMA Psychiatry magazine last week entitled "Attending Worship and Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Deaths among US Healthcare Professionals".

The study was based on a sample of 66,492 registered nurses as part of the Nurses' Health Study II from 2001-2017 and 43,141 male health professionals from the 1988-2014 health professionals follow-up study.

According to the researchers, women who attended religious services at least once a week had a 68% lower risk of death from despair than peers who did not, while men who attended worship services at least once a week had a 33% lower risk of death. had less danger than men who never participated.

"… this study suggests that attending worship was associated with a lower risk of death from despair among men and women, which is a wide range of potential confounding factors (including other aspects of social inclusion)," said the Round table discussion of the study.

"The results of this study are consistent with previous evidence suggesting that attending worship was inversely related to all-cause mortality and various factors related to despair … positively associated with psychosocial well-being outcomes, such as a higher life purpose. .. and often more connected to later health than other aspects of social integration. "

When determining its boundaries, the researchers warned that their study examined a part of the country with above-average educational background and that other religious practices were not taken into account.

"The convergence of shared beliefs and an improved social connection can bring health benefits," added the researchers.

"However, other aspects of religious engagement also deserve an investigation, especially for religious traditions that do not call meetings regularly."

They also found that for religiously unrelated people "other ways of social integration can also be followed".

"Although the size of health associations may not be that large, other forms of social integration are linked to health and well-being," they added.

Ying Chen of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science and lead author of the study told The Harvard Gazette that the results were "particularly striking given the current COVID-19 pandemic".

"They are striking partly because clinicians face such extreme work demands and difficult conditions and partly because many services have been stopped. We need to think about what can be done to help those who are at risk of despair." Chen said.

In recent years, several studies have been published that indicate the mental and physical health benefits of people who regularly attend church services.

In 2018, researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio found that people who attend worship services and pray tend to sleep better than their less religious counterparts.

"In particular, more religious adults tend to have healthier sleep outcomes than their less religious counterparts," said the study summary, published by the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep Health: Journal.

"This general pattern can be seen in large population studies that use a narrow range of religion measurements and sleep outcomes."

Courtesy of the Christian Post

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