Religion and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Among Postmenopausal Women: the Women's Health Initiative
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AuthorsSalmoirago Blotcher, Elena
Ockene, Judith K.
Crawford, Sybil L.
Ockene, Ira S.
O'Sullivan, Mary Jo
Student AuthorsElena Salmoirago Blotcher
UMass Chan AffiliationsDepartment of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Document TypeAccepted Manuscript
KeywordsHealth Behavior; Life Style; Religion; Religion and Medicine; Postmenopause; Middle Aged; Female; Women's Health
Community Health and Preventive Medicine
Psychiatry and Psychology
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractWorship 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.
SourceJ Behav Med. 2011 Oct;34(5):360-71. doi: 10.1007/s10865-011-9322-z. Epub 2011 Feb 8. The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com. Link to article on publisher's website
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/33126
Related ResourcesLink to article in PubMed
RightsThis is the authors' peer-reviewed accepted manuscript.
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Psychological and Social Characteristics Associated with Religiosity in Women's Health Initiative Participants.Schnall, Eliezer; Kalkstein, Solomon; Fitchett, George; Salmoirago Blotcher, Elena; Ockene, Judith K.; Tindle, Hilary A; Hunt, Julie R.; Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia; Thomas, Asha (2011-11-09)Measures of religiosity are linked to health outcomes, possibly indicating mediating effects of associated psychological and social factors. We examined cross-sectional data from 92,539 postmenopausal participants of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study who responded to questions on religious service attendance, psychological characteristics, and social support domains. We present odds ratios from multiple logistic regressions controlling for covariates. Women attending services weekly during the past month, compared with those not attending at all in the past month, were less likely to be depressed [OR = 0.78; CI = 0.74-0.83] or characterized by cynical hostility [OR = 0.94; CI = 0.90-0.98], and more likely to be optimistic [OR = 1.22; CI = 1.17-1.26]. They were also more likely to report overall positive social support [OR = 1.28; CI = 1.24-1.33], as well as social support of four subtypes (emotional/informational support, affection support, tangible support, and positive social interaction), and were less likely to report social strain [OR = 0.91; CI = 0.88-0.94]. However, those attending more or less than weekly were not less likely to be characterized by cynical hostility, nor were they less likely to report social strain, compared to those not attending during the past month.
Frequency of Private Spiritual Activity and Cardiovascular Risk in Post-menopausal Women: The Women's Health InitiativeSalmoirago Blotcher, Elena; Fitchett, George; Hovey, Kathleen M; Schnall, Eliezer; Thomson, Cynthia; Andrews, Christopher A; Crawford, Sybil; O'Sullivan, Mary Jo; Post, Stephen; Chlebowski, Rowan T.; et al. (2013-05-01)Purpose: Spirituality has been associated with better cardiac autonomic balance, but its association with cardiovascular risk is not well studied. We examined whether more frequent private spiritual activity was associated with reduced cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Methods: Frequency of private spiritual activity (prayer, Bible reading, and meditation) was selfreported at year 5 of follow-up. Cardiovascular outcomes were centrally adjudicated, and cardiovascular risk was estimated from proportional hazards models. Results: Final models included 43,708 women (mean age: 68.9±7.3; median follow-up: 7.0 years) free of cardiac disease through year 5 of follow-up. In age-adjusted models private spiritual activity was associated with increased cardiovascular risk (HR: 1.16; CI 1.02, 1.31, weekly vs. never; 1.25; CI 1.11, 1.40, daily vs. never). In multivariate models adjusted for demographics, lifestyle, risk factors, and psychosocial factors, such association remained significant only in the group with daily activity (HR 1.16; CI: 1.03, 1.30). Subgroup analyses indicate this association may be driven by the presence of severe chronic diseases. Conclusion: In aging women, higher frequency of private spiritual activity was associated with increased cardiovascular risk, likely reflecting a mobilization of spiritual resources in order to cope with aging and illness.
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