Document Detail

Is religion therapeutically significant for hypertension?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2662423     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Epidemiologic studies of the effects of religion on blood pressure suggest that religious commitment is inversely associated with blood pressure and that several religious denominations or groups have relatively low rates of hypertension-related morbidity and mortality. In this review, we examine the implication that certain characteristics and functions of religion account for this association, and we posit 12 possible explanations for this finding. We propose that a salutary effect of religion on blood pressure can be explained by some combination of the following correlates or sequelae of religion: the promotion of health-related behavior; hereditary predispositions in particular groups; the healthful psychosocial effects of religious practice; and, the beneficial psychodynamics of belief systems, religious rites, and faith. Since past epidemiologic studies may have been methodologically limited or flawed, possible explanations for the findings of these studies also include epistemological confusion, measurement problems, and analytical errors. Finally, for the sake of completeness, two more speculative hypotheses are identified: superempirical and supernatural influences or pathways.
J S Levin; H Y Vanderpool
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social science & medicine (1982)     Volume:  29     ISSN:  0277-9536     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Sci Med     Publication Date:  1989  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-08-01     Completed Date:  1989-08-01     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303205     Medline TA:  Soc Sci Med     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  69-78     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2007.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Health
Health Behavior
Hypertension / epidemiology,  psychology*
Religion and Medicine*
Religion and Psychology

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