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Are Religiosity and Spirituality Related to Self-Reported Health Expectancy? An Analysis of the European Values Survey

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gillian Libby, Dr Andrew KingstonORCiD, Emerita Professor Carol Jagger



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021, The Author(s). Research on religiosity and health has generally focussed on the United States, and outcomes of health or mortality but not both. Using the European Values Survey 2008, we examined cross-sectional associations between four dimensions of religiosity/spirituality: attendance, private prayer, importance of religion, belief in God; and healthy life expectancy (HLE) based on self-reported health across 47 European countries (n = 65,303 individuals). Greater levels of private prayer, importance of religion and belief in God, at a country level, were associated with lower HLE at age 20, after adjustment for confounders, but only in women. The findings may explain HLE inequalities between European countries.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Libby G, Zimmer Z, Kingston A, Haviva C, Chiu C-T, Ofstedal MB, Saito Y, Jagger C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Religion and Health

Year: 2021

Volume: 61

Pages: 2590-2604

Online publication date: 20/07/2021

Acceptance date: 09/07/2021

Date deposited: 01/06/2022

ISSN (print): 0022-4197

ISSN (electronic): 1573-6571

Publisher: Springer Nature


DOI: 10.1007/s10943-021-01348-w


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Funder referenceFunder name
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada