Healthier Life Tied to Family, Faith
By Pat Centner, AFA Journal
(C) 2000 Used with Permission
(AgapePress) - Recent studies revealed that married couples who spend time with their families, and people who participate regularly in religious activities, generally have lower blood
High blood pressure is one of the most common cardiovascular conditions in the United States.
More than 50 million Americans are afflicted with high blood pressure severe enough to require
monitoring and treatment, and 75% do not have their blood pressure under adequate control.
One of the studies, which examined the blood pressure levels of 162 teachers, concluded that
teachers who were married and had children experienced a significant reduction in blood
pressure when spending the evening hours at home with their families.
Religious faith has been found by other independent studies to be an added determinant for reduction in blood pressure, as well as for longer life. A report in the Journal of Health
Psychology, for example, concluded that regular attendance at religious services may result in
a longer life.
"The odds of survival for people who scored higher on measures of public and private religious
involvement were 29% higher than those who scored lower on such measures," said study co-author Dr. Michael E. McCullough from the National Institute for Healthcare Research.
People who participate in public religious events--such as attending service on a weekly
basis--are less likely to smoke, drink, and get divorced, said McCullough, all of
which may positively affect a person's physical health. Another factor may be that religious people tend
to maintain a sense of meaning and hope to their lives, even in the face of stress and crisis.