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Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina have learned that elderly people who attend religious services at least once a week have healthier immune systems. The study involved 1,718 Americans aged sixty-five and over. Even after they controlled the study for depression, there were still beneficial effects.

The researchers propose that "religious participation enhances immune functioning by yet unknown mechanisms, such as through feelings of belonging, togetherness, even perhaps the experience of worship and adoration. Such positive feelings may counteract stress and convey health effects that go far beyond simply the prevention of depression."

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