According to data from one of more than 250 studies conducted on the relationship between praying and health, people who exercise regularly, take drugs to reduce cholesterol and pray, can increase their life expectancy between three and five years on average.
Already in 1998, a US team conducted a study to assess the therapeutic effects of prayer on health. They analyzed more than 2,200 people suffering from cancer. Approximately 70% of them admitted having prayed to cure their illness and 72% said they felt better.
Now, another study, whose results the magazine has published Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, shows that subjects who resort to prayer, reduce uncertainty and stress, and have the feeling of some control over their health.
The head of Psychiatry at the Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Jerónimo Sainz, affirms that religious people usually have psychological characteristics that could have a beneficial influence on their health, since they tend to take better care of themselves and incur less risky behaviors.
Francisco Gil, coordinator of the Psycho-oncology Unit of the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, explains that, in addition, faith helps to cope with adverse situations and gives a meaning to life, both in the case of sick people and in those who have a good state of health.