Religiosity Is Associated with Reduced Risk of All-Cause and Coronary Heart Disease Mortality among Jewish Men

Sigal Eilat-Adar*, Devora Hellerstein, Uri Goldbourt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have found an inverse association between religiosity and mortality. However, most of these studies were carried out with Christian participants. This longitudinal study aimed to determine whether a composite variable based on self-reported religious education and religious practices is associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) and all-cause mortality in 9237 Jewish men aged 40–65 years at baseline, over a 32-year follow-up. Jewish men were characterized by their degree of religiosity, from the Ultra-Orthodox (“Haredim”)—the strictest observers of the Jewish religious rules, and in descending order: religious, traditional, secular, and agnostic. Demographic and physical assessments were made in 1963 with a 32-year follow-up. The results indicate that Haredim participants, in comparison to the agnostic participants, had lower CHD mortality. Hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI)—adjusted by age, cigarette smoking, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, socioeconomic status, BMI, and cholesterol, was: [HR = 0.68 (95% CI 0.58,0.80)] for Haredim; [HR = 0.82 (95% CI 0.69,0.96)] for religious; [HR = 0.85 (95% CI 0.73–1.00)] for traditional; and [HR = 0.92 (95% CI 0.79–01.06) for secular, respectively (p for trend = 0.001). The same pattern was observed for total mortality. This study shows an association between religious practice among men and a decreased rate of CHD and total mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12607
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • coronary heart disease
  • epidemiology
  • morbidity
  • mortality
  • religious practice

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