BACKGROUND: Religiosity/spirituality is a major coping mechanism for African Americans, but no prior studies have analyzed its association with the American Heart Association Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) indicators in this group. METHODS AND RESULTS: This cross-sectional study using Jackson Heart Study (JHS) data examined relationships between religiosity (religious attendance, private prayer, religious coping) and spirituality (theistic, nontheistic, total) with LS7 individual components (eg, physical activity, diet, smoking, blood pressure) and composite score among African Americans. Multivariable logistic regression assessed the odds of achieving intermediate/ideal (versus poor) LS7 levels adjusted for sociodemographic, behavioral, and biomedical factors. Among the 2967 participants (mean [SD] age=54.0 [12.3] years; 65.7% women), higher religious attendance was associated with increased likelihood (reported as odds ratio [95% CI]) of achieving intermediate/ideal levels of physical activity (1.16 [1.06–1.26]), diet (1.10 [1.01–1.20]), smoking (1.50 [1.34–1.68]), blood pressure (1.12 [1.01–1.24]), and LS7 composite score (1.15 [1.06–1.26]). Private prayer was associated with increased odds of achieving intermediate/ ideal levels for diet (1.12 [1.03–1.22]) and smoking (1.24 [1.12–1.39]). Religious coping was associated with increased odds of achieving intermediate/ideal levels of physical activity (1.18 [1.08–1.28]), diet (1.10 [1.01–1.20]), smoking (1.32 [1.18–1.48]), and LS7 composite score (1.14 [1.04–1.24]). Total spirituality was associated with increased odds of achieving intermediate/ideal levels of physical activity (1.11 [1.02–1.21]) and smoking (1.36 [1.21–1.53]). CONCLUSIONS: Higher levels of religiosity/spirituality were associated with intermediate/ideal cardiovascular health across multiple LS7 indicators. Reinforcement of religiosity/spirituality in lifestyle interventions may decrease overall cardiovascular disease risk among African Americans.
- African Americans
- health behavior
- risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine