Nun Study

Nun Study2016-12-13T08:21:53+00:00

Nun Study

nun study image from New Medical Terms

nuns having fun


An exhaustive epidemiological study by F Gagnon, based on 3280 Canadian nuns, who found no cancers of the uterine cervix, confirming Rigoni-Stern’s 1842 observation that the chaste don’t get it, but the chased do. 

Nuns who don’t get none, don’t get none

References Gynaecology Rigoni-Stern D: Fatti statistici relativi alle malattie cancerose. Gior Servire Progr Pathol Terap 2: 507, 1842  
nuns with guns image from New Medical Terms

nuns with guns

Am J Obst & Gynec 60: 516-522, 1950 


A study in which linguistic ability in early life and cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease in late life were compared in a religious order–the School Sisters of Notre Dame. 

This Nun Study compared archived autobiographical sketches that each of the Sisters had written from 1931 to 1939, 60 years before the study, and culminated with a examination of their brains post-mortem. A key conclusion was that a lack of linguistic density (e.g., complexity, vivacity, fluency) functioned as a significant predictor of its author’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in old age; 80% of those whose decades-earlier writing lacked linguistic density developed Alzheimer’s disease; of those whose writing was linguistically dense, only 10% later developed Alzheimer’s disease.


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