Does Going to Church Help You Live Longer?

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SCRANTON -- Women who go to church more than once a week are likely to live longer lives. That's according to a newly published study by researchers at Harvard.

We stopped at St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton to ask parishioners attending mass to see if they believe going to church is helping them live longer.

"There's no stressors. There's no stress. A lot of people die from stress. When you come to church it relieves are your stress," Richard Hughes of Scranton said.

The research was based on female nurses that participated in the Nurses Health Study. The data involved nearly 75,000 women from 1992 to 2012.

Each of them answered questions about their diet, health, and how often they attended church.

Researchers found that women who attended church more than once a week had a 33% lower risk of dying during the study period compared to those that never attended church.

Some parishioners we talked to believe the study. Other parishioners aren't entirely sure.

"It's up to God how long we live. I go to mass because it makes me feel good inside," Patty Carr of Nicholson said.

Theresa Scaccia thinks going to church helps you live a more peace-filled and joyful life. She finds the research accurate.

"I go every single day of the week, absolutely. I really have to say I don't have any major health problems. I really don't. Very little at my age, I'm in my 60s, so I feel very good," Scaccia said.

At Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Rev. James Clyde says there have been studies like this one before. While he does find it credible, he notes it studied mainly Christian women.

"I think that it certainly makes a difference to believe that you are connected, you know to the one that holds everything in his hands," Rev. Clyde said.

This latest study also suggests women who go to church frequently are more likely to quit smoking and are less likely to be depressed.

3 comments

  • Conroy

    Well the smarter you are the more stress you tend to have. So it’s no surprise that churchgoers don’t have all that much stress. Ignorance is bliss, and longevity it seems.

  • logic

    Going to church doesn’t help you live longer. I took my precious son to church since birth and he died from going out into the cold winter weather after me and my wife went to bed. Life is not fair.

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