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Vol. 78, No. 2, 2009
Issue release date: March 2009
Section title: Special Article
Psychother Psychosom 2009;78:81–90
(DOI:10.1159/000190791)

Religiosity/Spirituality and Mortality

A Systematic Quantitative Review

Chida Y.a · Steptoe A.a · Powell L.H.b
aPsychobiology Group, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK; bDepartment of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Special Article

Received: 3/26/2008
Accepted: 4/3/2008
Published online: 1/14/2009
Issue release date: March 2009

Number of Print Pages: 10
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS

Abstract

Background: The relationship between religiosity/spirituality and physical health has been the subject of growing interest in epidemiological research. We systematically reviewed prospective observational cohort studies of the association between this potentially protective psychological factor and mortality using meta-analytic methods. Methods: We searched general bibliographic databases: Medline, PsycINFO, Web of Science and PubMed (up to 20 March, 2008). Two reviewers independently extracted data on study characteristics, quality, and estimates of associations. Random effects meta-analyses, subgrouping, and sensitivity analysis were performed. Results: There were 69 studies (28 articles) and 22 studies (11 articles) investigating the association between religiosity/spirituality and mortality in initially healthy populations and diseased populations, respectively. The results of the meta-analyses showed that religiosity/spirituality was associated with reduced mortality in healthy population studies (combined hazard ratio = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.76–0.87, p <0.001), but not in diseased population studies (combined hazard ratio = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.94–1.01, p = 0.19). Notably, the protective effect of religiosity/spirituality in the initially healthy population studies was independent of behavioral factors (smoking, drinking, exercising, and socioeconomic status), negative affect, and social support. We divided studies according to the aspects of religiosity/spirituality measure examined, and found that organizational activity (e.g. church attendance) was associated with greater survival in healthy population studies. Multi-dimensional aspects were related to survival in both the healthy and diseased populations. Religiosity/spirituality was negatively associated with cardiovascular mortality in healthy population studies. Conclusions: The current review suggests that religiosity/spirituality has a favorable effect on survival, although the presence of publication biases indicates that results should be interpreted with caution.

© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Yoichi Chida
Psychobiology Group, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
University College London, 1–19 Torrington Place
London WC1E 6BT (UK)
Tel. +44 20 7679 8265, Fax +44 20 7916 8542, E-Mail y.chida@ucl.ac.uk

  

Article Information

Received: March 26, 2008
Accepted after revision: April 3, 2008
Published online: January 14, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 10
Number of Figures : 3, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 92

  

Publication Details

Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Vol. 78, No. 2, Year 2009 (Cover Date: March 2009)

Journal Editor: Fava G.A. (Bologna)
ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Special Article

Received: 3/26/2008
Accepted: 4/3/2008
Published online: 1/14/2009
Issue release date: March 2009

Number of Print Pages: 10
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


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