'Deaths from despair' less likely among providers who attend religious services regularly, study shows

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Healthcare professionals who attend religious services regularly are at a lower risk of death from despair, defined as one related to drugs, alcohol or suicide, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

For the study, researchers used data from self-reported questionnaires and medical records of 66,492 female registered nurses and 43,141 male healthcare professionals. Researchers gathered data on causes of death from death certificates and medical records. For more information on data-gathering, click here.

The deaths of 75 female RNs and 306 male healthcare professionals were identified as deaths from despair.

Researchers found that compared with those who never attended religious services, female RNs who did attend services at least once per week had a 68 percent lower likelihood of death from despair.

Among the male healthcare professionals, those who attended religious services at least once per week had a 33 percent lower risk of death from despair compared to those who did not attend services.

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