A review of mortality research on clergy and other religious professionals

Journal Article

An exhaustive literature search was undertaken to find studies on mortality rates among clergy. A total of twelve studies, published between 1959 and 2000, were identified that examined mortality among American and European clergy. All but one of the reports found lower all-cause death rates for clergy compared to the people in general population of similar age. Protestant ministers consistently were found to have more than a 25% mortality advantage in various studies. Catholic nuns had a mortality advantage of roughly 20%-25%, whereas the mortality advantage of Catholic priests was just over 10%. Possible factors contributing to the lower death rates of clergy are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Flannelly, KJ; Weaver, AJ; Larson, DB; Koenig, HG

Published Date

  • 2002

Published In

  • Journal of Religion and Health

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 57 - 68

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1023/A:1015158122507