Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities, study shows

Date:
June 29, 2011
Source:
Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center
Summary:
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.

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.

Related Articles


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 health -- lower 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-Adventist blacks and whites, rates of smoking, drinking, and meat consumption for Adventists were lower, and rates of vegetarianism and water consumption were higher. In addition, about 95 percent of the males and females in the black study cohort attended church weekly or more often, as compared to 30 percent of black males and 50 percent of black females in the General Social Survey -- a survey routinely done on a sample of the entire United States by the National Opinion Research Center.

Adventists, who advocate temperance, a plant-based diet, and setting aside Saturday for worship and family time, have received much coverage in recent years for their longevity and quality of life. Loma Linda, Calif., a city with a high concentration of Adventists, was the only United States locale featured in the book "The Blue Zones," by Dan Buettner. The book examined five areas of the world where life spans often noticeably exceed the norms. Loma Linda Adventist subjects of the book have been featured on many national TV spots, including a heart surgeon practicing at 94 years old, interviewed on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and a piano teacher giving lessons at 97, interviewed on "Anderson Cooper 360."

ARHS is a sub-study of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), a long-term health study of more than 96,000 Adventists, including 26,000 black Adventists, across the United States and Canada. Research shows that lifestyle diseases disproportionately affect blacks. Part of AHS-2's goal has been to determine why this is the case by exploring the links between diet, lifestyle, and disease. The results of ARHS are an important step toward learning practices that may help eliminate health disparities between blacks and the general population. As analysis of data continues, more exciting results are expected that will have far-reaching implications for improving the health of the black community.

AHS-2 is conducted by researchers at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. For more information, visit www.adventisthealthstudy.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. "Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627183946.htm>.
Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. (2011, June 29). Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627183946.htm
Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. "Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627183946.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins