The Relationship Between Religious Service Attendance and Coronary Heart Disease and Related Risk Factors in Saskatchewan, Canada
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Research suggests that attending religious services could provide small yet important protective benefits against coronary heart disease (CHD) and CHD risk factors (e.g., diabetes, hypertension). The extent to which these benefits apply to Canada deserves study because approximately one-third of adult Canadians attend religious services at least monthly. Therefore, the objective of this study is to examine the association between frequency of religious service attendance and prevalence of (1) CHD, (2) diabetes, and (3) hypertension in Canada. We used the Saskatchewan sample (n = 5,442) of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS-4.1) and built multivariable logistic regression models to evaluate associations between religious service attendance and self-reported CHD, diabetes, and hypertension. After controlling for demographic, socioeconomic and health behavior variables, the association between religious service attendance and prevalence of CHD was not significant (OR = 0.82; 95 % CI 0.61-1.11). However, persons who attended religious services more than once a week exhibited lower prevalence odds of diabetes (OR = 0.60; 95 % CI 0.45-0.80) and hypertension (OR = 0.82; 95 % CI 0.68-0.99) compared to persons who attended less than once a year. The findings of this study are the first to suggest religious service attendance may be associated with a lower prevalence of CHD risk factors in Canada.
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