Practicing religion was the secret ingredient, added to lifestyle changes, that helped a group of Black people reduce their high blood pressure, according to a new study published Tuesday in the scientific journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Researchers used volunteers who suffer from high blood pressure and also attend church to see how certain religious practices would affect their hypertension. Black folks, already by far the most religious group in America, have been disproportionately diagnosed with hypertension.
“Our findings prove that people with uncontrolled hypertension can, indeed, better manage their blood pressure through programs administered in places of worship,” said Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe, the lead author of the study.
The study was based on data collected from 2010 to 2014, from 373 Black participants with hypertension who attend church in New York City.
Researchers divided the participants into two groups,m with each receiving health education. Just one of the groups also received religious intervention, which included prayer, scripture reading and faith-based discussion related to health.
After six months, those in the religious intervention group reduced their systolic blood pressure by 5.8 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury).
Blood pressure readings consist of two parts: systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure created when the heart beats and diastolic is the pressure when it’s resting, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC defines a healthy blood pressure reading as less than 120/80 mm Hg, with the first number systolic and the second diastolic.
African-Americans suffer hypertension at the highest rate in the world, according to the American Heart Association. More than 40 percent of non-Hispanic African-American men and women have high blood pressure. For African-Americans, high blood pressure also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe.
Ogedegbe, who teaches at New York University School of Medicine, urged clergy and church leaders to pay attention to this study.
“Vulnerable populations often have lower access to primary care. We need to reduce racial disparities in hypertension-related outcomes between Blacks and whites,” he added.
Botham Jean Would Have Been 27 Years Old Today, See His Life In Photos
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Police serve capital, and as such, murder with impunity. This Friday, comrades flood the streets for #BothamJean! #BothamShemJean #BlackLivesMatter #nonewjails#FTP #UnionSquarehttps://t.co/NvxAOnI5B1 pic.twitter.com/WMCzLhWRkf— NYC-DSA Libertarian Socialist Caucus (@NYCLSC) September 27, 2018
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Police Chief on NOT Firing Amber Guyger over Botham Jean’s Death -- “I can’t do that because there are both local, state and federal laws that prohibit me from taking action, there are civil service laws we have to adhere to.” Dallas Chief Renee Hall. https://t.co/DAim3LmjQx pic.twitter.com/4m9U2m4iaz— EBONY MAGAZINE (@EBONYMag) September 20, 2018
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Here is video of Botham Jean, a 2016 @HardingU grad, leading singing in chapel. He was killed last night in Dallas when a police officer entered Jean's apartment - thinking it was hers - and shot and killed him. Read more: https://t.co/wpoWuplNsW pic.twitter.com/mNaqrk73jl— Stephanie Sharp (@stephmsharp) September 7, 2018
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This singing in praise by #BothamJean is so beautiful and uplifting. Remember him and seek justice for him, taking on the police officer who killed him physically and the organised smear campaign trying to kill his remembrance. pic.twitter.com/tHouNYPKjd— Ben Phillips (@benphillips76) September 15, 2018
Hallelujah, Black Folks! Jesus Can Lower Your Blood Pressure, Study Finds was originally published on newsone.com