Intrinsic Religiosity and Hypertension Among Older North American Seventh-Day Adventists
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A unique lifestyle based on religious beliefs has been associated with longevity among North American Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs); however, little is known about how religion is directly associated with hypertension in this group. Identifying and understanding the relationship between hypertension and its predictors is important because hypertension is responsible for half of all cardiovascular-related deaths and one in every seven deaths in the USA. The relationship between intrinsic religiosity and hypertension is examined. Cross-sectional data from the Biopsychosocial Religion and Health Study (N = 9581) were used. The relationship between intrinsic religiosity and hypertension when controlling for demographics, lifestyle variables, and church attendance was examined using binary logistic regression. While lifestyle factors such as vegetarian diet and regular exercise were important predictors of reduced rates of hypertension, even after controlling for these, intrinsic religiosity was just as strongly related to lower hypertension rates as the lifestyle factors. This study is the first to examine the relationship between intrinsic religiosity and hypertension among North American SDAs and demonstrates that in addition to the positive effects of lifestyle choices on health noted in the group, religion may offer direct salutary effects on hypertension. This finding is particularly important because it suggests that religiosity and not just lifestyle is related to lower risk of hypertension, a leading cause of death in the USA.
KeywordsSeventh-day Adventist (SDA) Hypertension Intrinsic religiosity Body mass index (BMI)
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Conflict of interest
The authors have no potential conflict of interest pertaining to his submission to the Journal of Religion and Health.
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