C-Reactive Protein, Diabetes, and Attendance at Religious Services

  1. Dana E. King, MD,
  2. Arch G. Mainous III, PHD and
  3. William S. Pearson, MHA
  1. From the Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina


    OBJECTIVE—Previous studies have shown an association between attendance at religious services and health, particularly cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. People with diabetes have higher risk of cardiovascular mortality and higher C-reactive protein (CRP) levels than people without diabetes. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between religious attendance and CRP in people with diabetes.

    RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—This study used cross-sectional survey and examination of a nationally representative sample of noninstitutionalized U.S. adults aged ≥40 years, derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III 1988–1994 (n = 10,059). There were 556 people with diabetes. The primary outcome measure was the presence of elevated CRP.

    RESULTS—There were no differences between people with diabetes compared with people without diabetes in the percentage of those who attended religious services (62.29 vs. 62.0%, P = 0.36). Religious service nonattenders with diabetes were more likely than attenders to have an elevated CRP (odds ratio [OR] 2.17 [95% CI 1.15–4.09]). In people without diabetes, the association between attendance and CRP was not significant (P > 0.05). Among people with diabetes, after adjusting for demographic variables, health status, smoking, social support, mobility, and BMI, the association between religious attendance and CRP remained significant for respondents with diabetes (1.90 [1.03–3.51]).

    CONCLUSIONS—These findings revealed that people with diabetes who have not attended religious services in the previous year are more likely to have elevated levels of CRP. Further research should be conducted to evaluate this association to improve our understanding of the psychological and religious factors that influence diabetes.


    • Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dana E. King, MD, Department of Family Medicine, P.O. Box 250192, 295 Calhoun St., Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425. E-mail: kingde{at}musc.edu.

      Received for publication 23 August 2001 and accepted in revised form 11 April 2002.

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