You know how atheists or “brights” (as they like to call themselves) are constantly telling us that religious people are so stupid? Well if they’re so smart, why do they die earlier?

A new study, according to Newsweek, reports that “People with religious beliefs live around four years longer on average than those who don’t.”

Scientists at Ohio State University arrived at the figure after studying over 1,000 obituaries from across the U.S. The team also factored in whether the person was married and their sex, which both can affect how long a person will live.

Laura Wallace, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in psychology at Ohio State University, said in a statement: “religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life.”

To investigate whether religious beliefs cold affect the age a person dies, the team first assessed over 500 obituaries in the Des Moines Register, a newspaper in Iowa, from between January and February 2012. They documented the age, sex, marital status, social and volunteer activities listed in the piece, as well as the religious affiliation of the deceased.

The data revealed that those whose obituaries included a religious affiliation lived 9.45 years longer than those who did not – which dropped to 6.48 when
gender and marital status were factored in.

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