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Religious people ‘live longer’, says study

Modest life styles put faithful on top of the longevity list

A monk giving a lecture about mercy in the parish A monk giving a lecture about mercy in the parish
  • Stephen Hong, Seoul
  • Korea
  • April 5, 2011
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Religious people like Buddhist monks, Protestant pastors, Catholic priests and nuns live longest while media people are one of professions who live shortest among 11 professional groups in South Korea, according to a survey published yesterday.

Kim Jong-in, professor of health and welfare in Wonkwang University, announced the survey result yesterday.

Kim's team compared and analysed the average life span of 11 professions in the country, based on the statistics of mortality and the obituaries of 3,215 people for 48 years from 1963 to 2010.

His team categorized them into 11 groups like religious people, entertainers, politicians, professors, high-ranking officials, business people, lawyers, artists, athletes, writers and media people.

According to the result, religious people's life span was 80 years, the highest among them, followed by politicians of 75, professors of 74, business people of 73, lawyers of 72, high-ranking officials of 71, entertainers and artists of 70 each, and athletes, writers and media people of 67 respectively.

Then, why do religious people live long?

Kim analysed that they lead a well-regulated life, have less stress caused by family ties, are unselfish and many of them do not eat or drink to excess, nor smoke.

He noted, however, the gap of life span between religious people and other people has narrowed in the last decade because modern people are getting more concerned about their health as they become more affluent.

According to Statistics Korea, South Korean men's average life expectancy was 77 and women's was 83.8 in 2009.

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