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Comment & Response
February 2017

Religious Service Attendance and Suicide Rates

Author Affiliations
  • 1Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(2):197. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2744

To the Editor The article by VanderWeele et al,1 based on longitudinal data from the Nurses’ Health Study, concluded that “frequent religious service attendance was associated with substantially lower suicide risk,” especially for Catholics and argued that “substantial confounding by unmeasured factors seems unlikely.” Framing involvement in religious institutions solely in benign terms, the study recommended that “for patients who are already religious, service attendance might be encouraged as a form of meaningful social participation.”1

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