In fact, at least one study suggests attending church can even help extend a person’s lifespan. As part of the Nurses' Health Study, researchers examined data collected from nearly 75,000 female nurses in the U.S. and found those who went to church more than once a week had a 33 percent lower risk of dying during the study period compared with those who said they never went. Study subjects who attended services once a week or less than weekly had 26 percent and 13 percent lower risk of death, respectively.
Churchgoers had higher rates of social support and optimism, lower rates of depression, and were less likely to be smokers, but researchers factored out those differences when calculating the lower mortality rates. That left scientists to speculate that attending religious services might promote self-discipline and give people a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life, according to a story from CNN.
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