Project 054

Project Title:

Current religious status and impacts on overall self-reported health, mortality risk and variations in cause-specific mortality: a comparison study between individuals with an existing affiliation to a religious denomination and those without.


Dr Dermot O’Reilly and Dr Michael Rosato


Queen's University Belfast, Centre for Public Health



Project Summary: 

There has been a long history of epidemiological analysis looking at how religion influences population health and mortality, for example in the impact of religion on both all-cause and cause-specific mortality. However, analysis has not usually concentrated on differences between current experience, religious affiliation of upbringing, and no reported affiliation. This latter aspect of religiosity is becoming more important given the increasing secularisation of developed societies and the associated rise in numbers of individuals who define themselves as non-religious.

This study will explore health and mortality outcomes by religious affiliation, with a special focus on those who see themselves as not currently involved, but for whom information on prior affiliation is available. While the immediate context for this study is Northern Ireland, its findings will have wider implications for the study of religion, health and mortality.

Publications to date:

O'Reilly, D. (2012) 'Religion and health: Is this still a relevant connection in a modern world?' - presented at the Institute Health & Wellbeing Glasgow University, 24 May 2012 [054]


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