Therapeutic Health Benefits of Religion Among Elderly- A Population based Representative Survey from Iran
Keywords:Epidemiology, religion, mental health, transcultural, social, health,
Background: We determined whether practice of religious beliefs influence health-related lifestyle among
general elderly population.
Methods: We recruited elderly (60+years) subjects from among the general population who were invited to
answer practice of religious belief and healthy lifestyle in Iranian elderly questionnaires.
Results: A total of 218 elderly subjects participated (51.3% males, mean age: 68.3 years, SD 9.2, range
60-92). The mean religious belief was 73.0 (SD 11.5) without male-to-female difference (p=0.9). The mean
lifestyle was 100.9 (SD 14.7, range 61-138) with a 9.3% male-to-female difference, p=0.0001. The odds of
better lifestyle with religion was 5.5 (p=0.001, effect-size=0.18, variance=29.5%). The most benefit was in
prevention (effect-size 0.18), nutrition (effect-size 0.15), and social relationship (effect-size 0.12).
Conclusions: Based on a representative un-selected validated sample, and by using a systematic
questionnaire, and after controlling for various possible confounders, and within current evaluation limits,
we may conclude that religion may mitigate health-related lifestyle.
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