by Zareen Afridi | 24 JAN 2018
How much is religion important to us? Religion is the factor that differentiates many of us and changes our outlook towards life. Many who believe in a benevolent deity tend to worry less and are more acceptable to uncertainties. People who have faced uneventful experiences or are grief-stricken seek blessings from the Almighty that benefits them mentally and brings peace of mind. To come out of an emotional upheaval, religion plays and active part.
Researches led by psychologist David Rosmarin explains that the connectivity between religion and health is important as these findings can be helpful in preparing treatment plans for individuals. Another recent study published in Plos One journal highlights that the one who is regular in attending religious ceremonies, be it mass, congregation, funeral or prayer meet, is at a greater level of health and has increased longevity. This phenomenon was more evident in middle aged or senior citizens. This research applies to religions of all sorts and was not only for a specific one.
Following and practicing religion on a regular basis may do wonders for your health. Dr Ellen L. Idler, PhD and a joint appointed professor in Zoology from the Emory Rollins school of Public Health explains the motive of this research. The aim was to link religion, especially religious attendance and gatherings with the health benefits it brings with itself. Prayers and religious attendance can be the social determinants associated in improving one's health, says Prof. Idler.
Under the study, Prof. Idler and her colleagues examined the data accumulated from the Health and the Retirement Study. This is a study that primarily focuses on people aged above 50 about their physical and economic circumstances. This data was gathered between 2004 and 2014 on more than 18,000 volunteers. The scientists took help of many social models like Cox proportional hazards model to calculate the extent of connectivity between religious attendance and all-cause mortality. Many parameters were considered during this research like importance towards religion, attendance, affiliation and specific parameters like gender, race, age, education, ethnicity and financial background.
The findings were on the positive side. The results of this finding drawed a dose-response relationship with mortality. Those who attended religious gatherings frequently (at least once a week) had 40% lower chances of dying early compared to those who never attended. This concludes why religion plays an important role in determining not only one's outlook towards life but also their health and living years.
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