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02 February 2009

Religious people less suicidal

People who regularly attend religious services may be less likely to attempt suicide than others, a Canadian study suggests.

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People who regularly attend religious services may be less likely to attempt suicide than others, a Canadian study suggests.

University of Manitoba researchers analyzed data from almost 37 000 people who took part in the Canadian Community Health Survey to study the relationship between spirituality, religious worship and suicidal behaviour.

"The main finding of this study is that religious worship attendance is associated with a decreased risk of suicide attempts," study author Daniel Rasic said in a university news release. The researchers didn't examine why religious worship may reduce the risk of suicide attempts.

Rasic and colleagues noted a distinction between people who say they're spiritual and those who regularly attend worship services. People who said they're spiritual didn't have a lower risk of attempted suicide. This suggests that something about attending religious services plays a role in reducing suicide risk.

"Further study into the relationship between active spiritual practice and suicidal behaviour is needed," Rasic said. The study was published in the current issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders. – (HealthDay News, February 2009)

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