Writers at the Times of Israel tell us about a new study that explains why people who regularly attend religious services may actually live longer than those that don't attend.
In an article published in the June issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, four Harvard University researchers analyzed data collected from 75,534 women over 16 years, between 1996 and 2012. They found that those who attended more than one religious service each week had a 33 percent lower risk of premature death...
Out of the 75,534 women who self-reported information, the majority were Christian. 1,700 were Jewish.
“Because of the [comparably] small number it would be difficult to look at them separately and see if the results differ [for Jews],” the study’s senior author, Tyler VanderWeele, an epidemiology professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told JTA in an email.
But VanderWeele pointed to an article from 2007 focused solely on Jews that echoes his findings. The study of 1,811 Jewish Israeli men and women over the age of 70 found: “Synagogue attendance is seen to promote survival mainly through its function as a source of communal attachment and, perhaps, as a reflection of spirituality as well.”