Research findings from Mayo Clinic & published in the Journal of the American Heart Association at the end of 2022 found that “participating in religious activities, from church services to private prayer, as well as holding deep spiritual beliefs, are linked to better cardiovascular health among Black Americans.” According to Dr Brewer of the Mayo Clinic, multiple socially determined challenges which were magnified by COVID-19 are preventing African Americans from living their best lives by following a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease.
The recent study focused on better understanding some of the psychosocial influences on health behavior change among African Americans, and in particular following those activities as defined by The American Heart Association’s “Life’s Essential 8TM.” These include eating well, being active, quitting tobacco, healthy sleep, weight management, controlling cholesterol, managing blood sugar, & managing blood pressure.
The study found that increased church attendance and spirituality was associated with higher levels of physical activity and less smoking, suggesting that having social support and an optimistic outlook may also encourage individuals to practice healthy behaviors.
Today’s discussion features Robert “Clarence” Jones, M. Ed., CPH, CHW, CPE, Executive Director at the Hue-MAN Partnership and a Community Engagement Strategist, along with Mayo Clinic cardiologist and study lead author Dr. LaPrincess Brewer, MD, MPH, whose primary research focus is in developing strategies to reduce and ultimately eliminate cardiovascular disease health disparities in racial and ethnic minority populations and in underserved communities. Dr. Brewer is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic.
This episode is hosted by Dr. Mary O’Connor, Chair of Movement is Life and Co-Founder of Vori Health.
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