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Medical News & Perspectives
December 9, 1998

Getting Religion Seen as Help in Being Well

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JAMA. 1998;280(22):1896-1897. doi:10.1001/jama.280.22.1896-JMN1209-4-1

WHILE SOME physicians may put little faith in them, spirituality and religion, as therapeutic aids, are entering medical practice.

Studies are emerging to show that regular attendees of religious services are less likely to have high blood pressure than those who attend less frequently; that spirituality aids in recovery from depression; that elderly church attendees have healthier immune systems than those who stay at home; and that affiliation with and participation in a religious community are associated with lower use of hospital services by medically ill older adults. Studies also argue that spirituality and religion may have a positive public health effect.

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