Study Looks at Health of Clergy Members


While medical studies at various denominations indicate that clergy members live longer than their comparable civilians, an emerging body of evidence over the last two decades has shown that ministers are more vulnerable to diabetes, depression, hypertension, gastrointestinal distress, and heart problems.  Thus far, the program has conducted focus groups with nearly 90 Methodist ministers and assessed ministers on their physical and mental health.  They surveyed 1,800 pastors on topics like isolation, stress, happiness, friendship, exercise, weight, diet, and connection to God.  Two dozen Methodist leaders from North Carolina went through two days of medical tests and health education at a denominational hospital in Memphis.  It’s really interesting that this study is being done, and now they’re looking at whether or not having a minister or another member of the cloth can actually increase someone’s life if they’re dealing with them.  They’re interesting studies and worth looking into. 


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