(Live Science) Being religious may come with a longevity boost, a new study suggests.
The study, which analyzed the obituaries of more than 1,000 people across the United States, found that people with a religious affiliation lived nearly 4 years longer, on average, than those without a religious affiliation.
The findings held even after the researchers took into account each person's biological sex and marital status, two factors that are known influence life span. Indeed, women live about 4.8 years longer than men, on average, but the effect of religion on life span came close to matching this, the researchers said.
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"Religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life," study lead author Laura Wallace, a doctoral student in psychology at The Ohio State University, said in a statement.