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When it comes to their health, more Americans are turning to a higher power.
A paper published in the May issue of the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality found that an increasing number of people are praying about their health.
In 2007, 49 percent of adults said they prayed about their health during the previous year. That number rose from 43 percent in 2002. The increase is part of a larger trend, researchers say, as only 14 percent of people said they had prayed about their health in 1999.
Researchers were unsure about what might be causing the increase in health-related prayer.
“We were surprised,” said Amy Wachholtz, director of health psychology at University of Massachusetts and co-author of the paper. “Our best guess is that it has to do with 9/11, but that’s an untested hypothesis. There doesn’t seem to be any other primary, overwhelming issue that would have so globally affected people.”