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Religious people may live longer than the atheist according to a new study carried out by Ohio State University. Previous studies showed people who volunteer or participate in groups tend to have more longevity.

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With some religions placing restrictions on harmful behaviours like alcohol, drugs, and other illegal activities, practicing religion also gives peace of mind and reduces stress.

In the main part of the study used data from thousands of obituaries of the 42 States on the basis of which scholars analyzed the religion and lifestyle of the deceased.

The study was conducted by a team of Ohio University academics, including associate professor of psychology Dr Christian End.

We found that volunteerism and involvement in social organisations only accounted for a little less than one year of the longevity boost that religious affiliation provided.

"Religious affiliation had almost 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.

The effect may be especially pronounced in religiously cohesive communities.

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After analysing 1,000 obituaries published across the United States, researchers have found that religious people live close to four years more than atheists.

People with religious affiliations may live longer lives.

In addition, religious people are less prone to bad habits, and not so much stressed.

Scientists Baldwin way (Way, Baldwin) Laura Wallace (Laura Wallace) link this accommodation to the region, where the percentage of religious people is very high.

The researchers acknowledged their study was limited by the fact it could not control race and lifestyle choices, which are important factors for longevity.

The study also showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Those visiting church at least once a week were found to have 33% lower risk of death than those who never went.