I recently saw the movie Ushpizin, which I understand has already passed its peak popularity. However, in looking up more information about the film on the internet, I came across this news release on the life expectancy of Orthodox Jews in B'nei Brak, Israel:
Bnei Brak, Israel's most religious city, also has the highest average life expectancy: 81.1 years for women and 77.4 years for men.
What makes that finding even more curious is that Bnei Brak also happens to be Israel's poorest city, confounding the expected correlation between increased wealth and health. Moreover, smoking among males remains entirely too popular, and even a casual glance around the streets of Bnei Brak will serve to establish that news of the benefits of exercise and a low-fat diet has not yet reached many of its inhabitants.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests the key to the longevity of Bnei Brak residents may well be their religiosity. Fully three-quarters of the 300 studies to date of the relationship between religious belief and health have shown a positive correlation.
A commentor goes on to say:
Does the author mean current "average age" in Bnei Brak? Add up the ages of all people living in Bnei Brak and divide by population? That would just show that Bnei Brak has a lot of old people living there. Or does he mean "life expectancy?" Life expectancy means that a child born in Bnei Brak today would have a "life expectancy" of 81/77 as you said, assuming he lived his entire life in Bnei Brak. A tough statistic to gather. Either way, I have read much on this thesis in medical literature lately. In fact, even Grossmont Hospital, San Diego, CA had a recent grand rounds on the evidence for the positive health effect of prayer and religious observance. Good stuff. Thanks.