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Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities, study shows
Date:6/27/2011

LOMA LINDA, Calif. Health disparities between black Americans and the rest of the nation have been well-documented in medical journals. But one study shows that blacks who identify as members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church actually report a better quality of life than the average American. Researchers point to certain lifestyle behaviors as a possible explanation for the difference. The research was conducted at Loma Linda University as part of the Adventist Religion and Health Study (ARHS), a study of nearly 11,000 Adventists, including more than 3,400 black Adventists.

The findings were drawn from an ARHS survey that included questions from SF-12v2 Physical and Mental Health composite scores, widely recognized among researchers to be accurate measures of quality of life. Examples of questions included are:

  • "During the past four weeks, how much did pain interfere with your normal work?"
  • "How much time during the past four weeks have you felt downhearted and depressed?"

ARHS results were then compared to results from a nationwide sample of people who took the SF-12v2 survey. Overall, black Adventist study participants reported better physical and mental quality of life than the U.S. norm, in some cases by as much as 4.5 percentage points. (Data are shown in the attached PDF.)

"It is striking that, although in the general population blacks show poorer quality of life on a variety of measures, our results show that black Adventists have a significantly better quality of life than the average American," says Jerry Lee, PhD, MA, RN, principal investigator for ARHS. "This difference is particularly pronounced in older age groups, who progressively demonstrate increased mental healthlower depression, more energy, feeling more calm and peaceful, etc.relative to the general population. This could be a result of the healthy lifestyle choices that are built into the Adventist faith."

Compared to non
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Contact: Heather Reifsnyder
hreifsnyder@llu.edu
909-558-1000 x42932
Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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