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Scand J Soc Med. 1985;13(2):49-52.

Survival rates among Seventh Day Adventists compared with the general population in Poland.


The purpose of the work was to test the hypothesis that the survival rate is higher among the Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) than in the general population of Poland, because of the strictly respected customs adhered to by members of this church community, such as abstinence from smoking and from alcohol. The data on life expectancy in the SDA community covered a total of 236 members of this denomination in Kraków (86 males and 150 females). The survival probability rates were estimated by the life table method, for both men and women separately, and were subsequently compared with the corresponding parameters of the Polish Life Tables. Over a period of 10 years, in which these data were studied, there were 11 deaths in males and 24 deaths in females. Mean age at death was 71.9 years among men and 75.1 among women. The survival curves traced over the age groups of both sexes of SDA members were fairly similar, but they were markedly higher than in the general population of Poland. In the general population the survival rates for people over 40 years old were higher in females than in males, whereas no corresponding sex differences in rates concerning SDA members were observed. The greater benefit in life expectancy is gained in the SDA group in comparison with men in the general population. This is attributable to their abstinence from very harmful habits, otherwise more widespread in this sex group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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