A nationwide study finds

that having strangers pray for heart patients does not help their health. In fact, the prayed-for are actually more likely to suffer complications.


USA Today:

Some say prayer can move mountains. But can anyone prove it helps heart patients sail through surgery? Researchers from six hospitals across the USA set out to try.

In the largest study to examine the effects of this profoundly personal activity, researchers found that asking strangers to pray for heart-bypass patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who were told that study volunteers were praying for them were actually more likely to suffer a medical complication. (Related: Study Q&A)

Earlier studies have produced mixed results on the effects of praying for others. Dean Marek, a Catholic chaplain at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who helped supervise the study, says the findings won’t talk people out of asking God to help the people they love.

“What the study might do is help people more on the deeper realities of the meaning of prayer,” he says.

:

Link

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig