Pointers Vol.24-3 For Downloading

Does Faith Give you Better Health?
A recent book by Rodney Stark, a renowned sociologist of
religion in the United States of America, America’s Blessings,
argued that church attenders, on average, have an expectation
of 7.6 years of life longer when they are 20 years of age than
do non-church attenders (Stark 2012, loc. 1554). He argues that
part of it is due to the ‘clean living’ of religious people. However,
over and above that, he maintains religion contributes to lower
blood pressure. In addition, he quotes another large study which
found that church attenders were less likely than non-churchattenders
to have strokes. The major reasons, the book suggests,
for these positive relationships are the fact that religion allays
anxiety and tensions, loneliness and depression, and that it
provides social support (Stark 2012, loc 1575). The data from
a survey of public health which is part of the International
Social Survey Program allows us to make some examination
of the relationship between religious faith and health among


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