Being actively religious could add more than six years to your life, a study suggests.
Researchers believe the social aspect of a religious community could improve well-being and said religious rules prohibited unhealthy behaviours among the faithful. In the study, led by Ohio State University, psychologists examined two sets of obituaries: 1096 from US national newspapers and 505 from a local newspaper in Iowa.
The results of the analysis of the local newspaper found people whose obituaries mentioned religion lived for 6.48 years longer on average than those whose memorials did not.
Co-author Dr Baldwin Way said: “The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives.”