Correlation between religion and hypertension
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The objectives of the study were to investigate the relationship between religion and hypertension, as well as the theoretical mechanism through which religion exerts effect on hypertension. A MEDLINE literature search was performed on articles describing religion and hypertension (N = 543) excluding unqualified ones such as those without expected information, those neither correcting confounding factors nor matching the comparison groups and those reporting repeated trials. Eight extra articles from references of reviews were added to the included studies. Finally, 79 articles were formerly evaluated. Briefly, there are limited trials on correlation between religion and hypertension and their results are inconsistent. First of all, longitudinal investigations, especially the high-quality ones, are deficient. Secondly, studies evaluating religion as an integral are scarce, although they can assess religions most comprehensively. Third, few studies use several religious measurements that represent distinct dimensions of religion. Moreover, divergence exists among diverse populations, even if they are assessed by the same indicator. In addition, 59% studies are concerned with an unspecified species of religion, and Christianity is studied the most among those with a specific category of religion. Finally, the possible mechanism underlying religion and hypertension is complex, which can partially explain the different results among various populations. Comprehensive evaluation of a specific religion should be encouraged. In addition, for a specific population, the correlation between religion and hypertension should be examined particularly, even if similar investigations in other populations have been conducted. Finally, more evidence focused on the effects of distinct religions/sects is also required.
KeywordsReligion Hypertension Blood pressure
Funding was provided by Science and Technology Pillar Program in Sichuan Province (Grant no.: 2012SZ0131).
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Conflict of interest
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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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