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Soc Sci Med. 2014 Nov;120:92-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.030. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Health benefits of religion among Black and White older adults? Race, religiosity, and C-reactive protein.

Author information

1
Department of Sociology, Purdue University, Stone Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA; Center on Aging and the Life Course, Purdue University, Hanley Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. Electronic address: ferraro@purdue.edu.
2
Department of Sociology, Purdue University, Stone Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA; Center on Aging and the Life Course, Purdue University, Hanley Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

Abstract

The study investigates potential health benefits of religiosity to protect against chronic inflammation associated with the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The study uses longitudinal data from a representative survey of adults 57-85 years old at the beginning of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. Linear regression models were used to analyze the association between religiosity, as measured by affiliation, attendance, and having a clergy confidant, and logged values of C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration (mg/L). Although religious attendance was not related to CRP among the White respondents, attendance was associated with lower CRP-and change in CRP over time-among the Black respondents. There was no evidence that religious affiliation alone had any health benefit. The study provides evidence of the salutary effects of religious engagement on chronic inflammation among older adults, especially for Black Americans, which may be useful in reducing the prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

KEYWORDS:

African–American; Chronic inflammation; Religiosity; Social participation

PMID:
25226450
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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