Religious Involvement and Adult Mortality in the United States: Review and Perspective

  title={Religious Involvement and Adult Mortality in the United States: Review and Perspective},
  author={Robert A Hummer and Christopher G. Ellison and Richard G. Rogers and Benjamin E. Moulton and R. Rep{\'a}reaz Romero},
  journal={Southern Medical Journal},
Objectives: The scientific community has recently taken a serious interest in the relation between religious involvement and adult mortality risk in the United States. We review this literature, highlighting key findings, limitations, and future challenges. Methods: Literature from medicine, epidemiology, and the social sciences is included. Results: Taken together, the existing research indicates that religious involvement is related to US adult mortality risks. The evidence is strongest for… 
Commentary: understanding religious involvement and mortality risk in the United States: comment on Bagiella, Hong, and Sloan.
  • R. Hummer
  • Psychology
    International journal of epidemiology
  • 2005
Using data from four US communities, the relationship between selfreports of public religious attendance and subsequent mortality risk is investigated using pooled data from the four sites and then investigating each separate site, finding that frequent religious attendance is related to lower overall adult mortality risk in the United States.
Religion and Infant Mortality in the U.S.: A Preliminary Study of Denominational Variations
Prior research has identified a number of antecedents to infant mortality, but has been focused on either structural (demographic) forces or medical (public health) factors, both of which ignore
Mortality Differentials and Religion in the United States: Religious Affiliation and Attendance
Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, I examine the relationship between adult mortality and religious affiliation. I test whether mortality differences associated with religious
Religious attendance and mortality: an 8-year follow-up of older Mexican Americans.
It is suggested that weekly church attendance may reduce the risk of mortality among older Mexican Americans, particularly those aged 65 and older.
Mortality Differentials and Religion in the U.S.: Religious Affiliation and Attendance.
Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the relationship between adult mortality and religious affiliation is examined to test whether mortality differences associated with religious affiliation can be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status, attendance at religious services, or health behaviors, particularly cigarette and alcohol consumption.
It is found that mother's affiliation to any religious organization, as compared with non-affiliation, has a significant positive effect on child survival net of education and other socio-demographic factors.
Religious Affiliation, Religious Service Attendance, and Mortality
This study is consistent with previous findings that religious attendance leads to a reduction in mortality, but it did not find other religious measures, such as strength of religious affiliation, frequency of praying, belief in an afterlife, and belief in God to be associated with mortality.
Effectiveness of religious activity on the quality of life and healthcare outcomes of adults aged 65 and older: a systematic review
Substantial evidence was found that religious service attendance had a protective effect against depression and poor mental health and lower rates of mortality and greater participation in religious activities is likewise associated with higher levels of life satisfaction.
Religious activity, life expectancy, and disability-free life expectancy in Taiwan
There is a consistent positive gradient between religious activity and expectancy with greater activity related to longer life and more years without disability, and Mechanisms that intervene may be similar in Eastern religions despite differences in the ways in which popular religions are practiced.


Religion, Disability, Depression, and the Timing of Death
Despite its importance in Durkheim's work, the subject of religion's influence on health and well-being is rarely addressed in contemporary sociological research. This study of elderly persons in New
Religion and mortality among the community-dwelling elderly.
Lower mortality rates for those who attend religious services are only partly explained by the 6 possible confounders listed above, and Psychodynamic and other explanations need further investigation.
Religious involvement and mortality: a meta-analytic review.
Although the strength of the religious involvement-mortality association varied as a function of several moderator variables, the association of religious involvement and mortality was robust and on the order of magnitude that has come to be expected for psychosocial factors.
Attendance at Religious Services and Mortality in a National Sample∗
This study estimates the impact of service attendance on mortality in a national probability sample and provides the most extensive empirical examination of potential explanations for the relationship between service attendance and mortality.
Does religious observance promote health? mortality in secular vs religious kibbutzim in Israel.
Belonging to a religious collective was associated with a strong protective effect not attributable to confounding by sociodemographic factors, and mechanisms mediating this effect may provide etiologic insights and leads for intervention.
Religion among disabled and nondisabled persons II: attendance at religious services as a predictor of the course of disability.
  • E. IdlerS. Kasl
  • Philosophy, Psychology
    The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
  • 1997
It is found that attendance at services is a strong predictor of better functioning, even when intermediate changes in functioning are included, that health practices, social ties, and indicators of well-being reduce, but do not eliminate these effects, and that disability has minimal effects on subsequent attendance.
Religious Attendance and Cause of Death over 31 Years
The results of this study are consistent with the view that religious involvement, like high socioeconomic status, is a general protective factor that promotes health through a variety of causal pathways.
Does private religious activity prolong survival? A six-year follow-up study of 3,851 older adults.
Older adults who participate in private religious activity before the onset of ADL impairment appear to have a survival advantage over those who do not.
Claims about religious involvement and health outcomes
  • R. SloanE. Bagiella
  • Medicine
    Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • 2002
There is little empirical basis for assertions that religious involvement or activity is associated with beneficial health outcomes, according to a review of the literature on religious involvement and health.
Religious Homogeneity and Metropolitan Suicide Rates
Numerous studies have examined the relationships between religious factors and aggregate suicide rates with inconsistent findings. We extend research on this topic by focusing on an overlooked