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Is there any connection between spirituality and heart disease?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Researcher Jeff Levin, Ph.D., author of God, Faith, and Health, is recognized as one of the leading researchers in spirituality and health. As a first-year graduate student in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Levin became intrigued by two articles that found a surprising and significant connection between spirituality and heart disease, a connection that remains one of the best-researched areas of the positive effects of religious behavior on health. His curiosity led to an in-depth evaluation and pioneering research on the impact of religious practices on disease. In God, Faith, and Health, Dr. Levin notes that there are more than 50 studies in which religious practices were found to be protective against cardiovascular disease, including death due to heart attacks and strokes as well as against numerous risk factors such as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In particular, Dr. Levin highlights the strong inverse correlation between strong religious commitment and blood pressure that was evident no matter what religion an individual chose to practice or his or her geographical location or ancestry.

What the Drug Companies Won't Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn't Know: The Alternative Treatments That May Change Your Life--and the Prescriptions That Could Harm You

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.