Student Author(s)

Elena Salmoirago Blotcher

GSBS Program

Clinical & Population Health Research Program

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Date

2-8-2011

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Health Behavior; Life Style; Religion; Religion and Medicine; Postmenopause; Middle Aged; Female; Women's Health

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Preventative Medicine | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Worship attendance has been associated with longer survival in prospective cohort studies. A possible explanation is that religious involvement may promote healthier lifestyle choices. Therefore, we examined whether attendance is associated with healthy behaviors, i.e. use of preventive medicine services, non-smoking, moderate drinking, exercising regularly, and with healthy dietary habits. The population included 71,689 post-menopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative observational study free of chronic diseases at baseline. Attendance and lifestyle behaviors information was collected at baseline using self-administered questionnaires. Healthy behaviors were modeled as a function of attendance using logistic regression. After adjustment for confounders, worship attendance (less than weekly, weekly, and more than weekly vs. never) was positively associated with use of preventive services [OR for mammograms: 1.34 (1.19, 1.51), 1.41 (1.26, 1.57), 1.33 (1.17, 1.52); breast self exams: 1.14 (1.02, 1.27), 1.33 (1.21, 1.48), 1.25 (1.1, 1.43); PAP smears: 1.22 (1.01, 1.47-weekly vs. none)]; non-smoking: [1.41 (1.35, 1.48), 1.76 (1.69, 1.84), 2.27 (2.15, 2.39)]; moderate drinking [1.35 (1.27, 1.45), 1.60 (1.52, 1.7), 2.19 (2.0, 2.4)]; and fiber intake [1.08 (1.03, 1.14), 1.16 (1.11, 1.22), 1.31 (1.23, 1.39), respectively], but not with regular exercise or with lower saturated fat and caloric intake. These findings suggest that worship attendance is associated with certain, but not all, healthy behaviors. Further research is needed to get a deeper understanding of the relationship between religious involvement and healthy lifestyle behaviors and of the inconsistent patterns in this association.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Fitchett G, Ockene JK, Schnall E, Crawford S, Granek I, Manson J, Ockene I, O'Sullivan MJ, Powell L, Rapp S. Religion and healthy lifestyle behaviors among postmenopausal women: the women's health initiative. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 2011 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print]. DOI 10.1007/s10865-011-9322-z. The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com. Link to article on publisher's website

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

Keywords

Middle-aged women, Religion, Lifestyles, Health, Health behaviors