Better Heart Health for Black Americans Is Linked to Religion

According to a recent study, Black Americans who frequently attend church and pray had better cardiovascular health than Black Americans who are less religious or have no religious views.

2,967 African Americans in and around Jackson, Michigan, participated in the study, which was written up in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

According to American Heart Association standards, those who regularly attended religious services were 15% more likely to receive an intermediate or perfect cardiovascular health score.

Regular private prayer increased a person’s likelihood of obtaining an intermediate or ideal Heart Association score for diet by 12%. There was a 14% greater likelihood of having good cardiovascular health in those who reported using “religious coping.”

The results were somewhat unexpected, according to the study’s primary author, cardiologist LaPrincess C. Brewer, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, because changing one’s diet, level of physical activity, or smoking is so challenging.

The participants in the study were divided into groups based on their self-reported levels of spirituality, which is the conviction that a higher power exists, as well as how frequently they attended religious services, prayed alone, and used their faith to help them deal with difficult situations and challenges in life.

Then, they were categorised in accordance with the Life’s Simple 7 health criteria by the American Heart Association (diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels). In June of last year, the association added sleep to the Simple 7 to create the Essential 8.

Black Americans tend to have worse overall cardiovascular health than non-Hispanic white people, statistics show, and Brewer said the study may help doctors treat them more effectively. Black Americans have higher adult heart disease mortality rates than white adults.

Brewer stated in a news release that “our findings underline the considerable importance that culturally appropriate health promotion activities and recommendations for lifestyle change may play in improving health equity.” The likelihood that interventions will have an impact on cardiovascular health as well as the sustainability and maintenance of healthy lifestyle modifications may be increased by the cultural relevance of those interventions.

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