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Aging with Grace: The Nun Study

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Updated April 11, 2007

The Bottom Line

David Snowden has been studying the lives of Catholic nuns for years. His work has led to interesting conclusion about aging well. He presents his important research findings in the context of insightful stories about the nuns themselves.
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  • Warm, personal writing.
  • Important findings about mental fitness and aging.
  • Unique insight into religious life and aging.


  • Not enough advice on how to make changes in the reader's life.


  • The author, David Snowden, is a neurologist and epidemiologist at the University of Kentucky.
  • Paperback, 256 pages
  • Combines scientific research and personal stories well

Guide Review - Aging with Grace: The Nun Study

Epidemiologist David Snowden had a brilliant idea when he began studying religious populations like Catholic nuns. Every person in the population has the same access to health care, the same living situation and the same income status. By eliminating those factors, Dr. Snowden’s research can focus on which behaviors and attitudes most affect aging, especially mental fitness and aging. Aging With Grace outlines Dr. Snowden’s findings by combining the research with touching personal stories of the nuns themselves. By creating a window into the nuns’ world, Aging With Grace is a fascinating read. The Nun Study’s scientific findings are well outlined in this book. These findings include:
  • Better language abilities are linked to lower dementia risk
  • Diet and exercise are linked to healthy aging and longevity
  • A positive attitude decreases the risk of age-related problems

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