Do Social Ties Affect Our Health? | NIH News in Health

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Do social ties affect our health

This article caught my attention. In medical school we’re taught about physiology, anatomy, pathology of diseases and treatment of diseases. Yes, we do rotate through a psychiatry rotation in our third year of medical school, and in some specialties (pediatrics, for example) social aspects of health are kept in mind (some specifics probably vary from state to state, but physicians are mandated reporters for such things as child abuse and elder abue) as kids, for example, don’t raise themselves. Abuse of any kind can affect growth, development and health – especially if it involves physical abuse, starvation, etc (sexual abuse as horrific as it is, is a whole other post and not the topic of this blog post).

Some studies have indicated people who attend religious services are healthier than those who don’t. Though it has been a while since I’ve looked at the literature for this, and I think some studies make the effect to be murkier or not as solid as some might make it, these are my thoughts on it:

  1. It’s not some supernatural being, or belief in one, that makes one healthier, but the fact as someone who is involved in a community, and a purpose larger than onself.
    1. 1a) I’d add, however, that this probably includes athiests and agnostics who aren’t church/mosque/temple goers, but are involved promoting athiest ideals and in the community at large.
  2. Being part of a community might mean access to people who can help older (or otherwise impared) community members to doctors appointments, help with food, etc.
  3. Being part of a community can also help alleiviate stress levels.
  4. Married people live longer, presuming the marriage is a healthy one. Though it’s important to be part of a a community larger than 2 as well.

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