Atheism and life expectancy

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The prestigious Mayo Clinic found that that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better physical health, mental health, health-related quality of life and other health outcomes.[1]

The Independent reported:

Religious people live on average four years longer than their agnostic and atheist peers, new research has found.

The difference between practising worshippers and those who were not part of a religious group could be down to a mix of social support, stress-relieving practices and abstaining from unhealthy habits, the authors suggest.

For the study, a team of Ohio University academics, including associate professor of psychology Christian End, analysed more than 1,500 obituaries from across the US to piece together how the defining features of our lives affect our longevity.

These records include religious affiliations and marriage details as well as information on activities, hobbies and habits, which can help or hinder our health, not otherwise captured in census data.

The study, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science today, found that on average people whose obituary mentioned they were religious lived an extra 5.64 years.

Life expectancy was still 3.82 years longer in religious people when they statistically controlled for marriage rates, a factor which has been shown to increase life expectancy and help stave off disease. [2]

Christian apologist Michael Caputo wrote about atheism and marriage: "Recently the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has published its mammoth study on Religion in America based on 35,000 interviews... According to the Pew Forum a whopping 37% of atheists never marry as opposed to 19% of the American population, 17% of Protestants and 17% of Catholics."[3] See: Atheism and marriage

According to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) over 50% of all atheists and agnostics don't get married.[4] The fertility rate is significantly lower in the atheist population (see: Atheism and fertility rates).

The Iona Institute reported: "A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%."[5]

The journal article Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications published in the journal International Scholar Research Notes Psychiatry by Harold G. Koenig stated concerning religion/spirituality (R/S):

The most impressive research on the relationship between R/S and physical health is in the area of mortality. The cumulative effect of R/S, if it has any benefits to physical health, ought to reveal itself in an effect on mortality. The research suggests it does. At least 121 studies have examined relationships between R/S and mortality. Most of these are prospective cohort studies, where baseline R/S is assessed as a predictor of mortality during the observation period, controlling for confounders. Of those studies, 82 (68%) found that greater R/S predicted significantly greater longevity (three at a trend level), whereas six studies (5%) reported shorter longevity. Considering the 63 methodologically most rigorous studies (quality ratings of 8 or higher), 47 (75%) found R/S predicting greater longevity (two at trend level) [548–566], whereas three (5%) reported shorter longevity [567–569]. Another systematic review [570] and two meta-analyses [571, 572] have confirmed this relationship between R/S and longer survival. The effects have been particularly strong for frequency of attendance at religious services in these three reviews. Survival among frequent attendees was increased on average by 37%, 43%, and 30% (mean effect being 37% across these reviews). An increased survival of 37% is highly significant and equivalent to the effects of cholesterol lowering drugs or exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation after myocardial infarction on survival [573].[6]

Atheism, sedentary lifestyles and life expectancy

See also: Atheism and sedentary lifestyles

Numerous studies report that athletes to be more religious than non-athletes.[7] See also: Sports performance: Religious faith vs. atheism

Sedentary lifestyles reduce life expectancy.[8]

The journal article Spirituality and Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior among Latino Men and Women in Massachusetts which was published in the journal Ethnicity and Disease declared: "There is a significant negative relationship between spirituality and sedentary behavior."[9]

In addition, numerous studies report that athletes to be more religious than non-athletes.[10] See also: Sports performance: Religious faith vs. atheism

Irreligion/nonreligious regions of the world and sedentary lifestyles

Irreligion/nonreligious regions have populations with significant problems when it comes to engaging in sedentary behavior (see: Irreligion/nonreligious regions and sedentary behavior).

See also:

RationalWiki admin Ace McWicked on flouting medical science and living an unhealthy lifestyle that could reduce his longevity

See also: Science denialism and Atheism and medicine and Atheism and health and Rational Media Board of Director and RationalWiki Moderater User: Spud and ultra-processed/unhealthy/junk food

RationalWiki is a politically left-leaning website that skews towards atheism/agnosticism in terms of its worldview.

RationalWiki admin Ace McWicked on flouting medical science by living an unhealthy lifestyle which could reduce his longevity and/or cause chronic diseases: "I'm in the office and fee like I am having a heart attack. Pretty sure I walked too quickly while doing an overview of the work-site and smoked too heavily in the process. Or maybe it was the lashings of Jagermeister and mac'n'cheese I had for dinner. Either way not much changes with ol' Ace. Being in my early 40's now I don't feel the need to make any lifestyle changes anymore. I'll just the age happen and see how long I last. I reckon I have another 20 years left." - RationalWiki admin Ace McWicked, May 8, 2023[11] See also: Atheism and smoking and Atheism and alcoholism and Macaroni and cheese, processed food, and health risks and Consumption of ultra-processed foods and health risks

See also

References

  1. Mueller, Dr. Paul S. et al. (December 2001). "Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: implications for clinical practice". Mayo Clinic Proceedings vol. 76:12, pp. 1225-1235. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic Proceedings website on July 20, 2014.
  2. Religious people live four years longer than atheists, study finds, The Independent, 2018
  3. Atheism by Ken Ammi
  4. https://creation.com/atheism
  5. Multiple references:
  6. Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications, International Scholar Research Notes Psychiatry by Harold G. Koenig, 2012
  7. Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions
  8. Height and Weight May Determine How Long You Can Live—Especially If You're a Woman
  9. Spirituality and Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior among Latino Men and Women in Massachusetts by Valerie J. Silfee, Christina F. Haughton, Stephenie C. Lemon, Vilma Lora, and Milagros C. Rosal, Ethnicity and Disease. 2017 Winter; 27(1): 3–10. Published online 2017 Jan 19. doi: 10.18865/ed.27.1.3
  10. Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions
  11. Latest revision as of 19:54, 8 May 2023 (edit) (undo) Ace McWicked (talk | contribs)(→‎Wait what)