Risk of cancer, myocardial infarction, and psychiatric disease among members of Danish religious communities

A Danish cohort research project by Christoffer Johansen, Niels Christian Hvidt, Lau Caspar Thygesen, and others.

We will investigate the association between religious belief and health. Why is it that persons engaged in religious societies seem to be at reduced risk for a number of chronic diseases? Before this question can be answered, we need valid data on the association between membership of a religious society and health outcomes. We therefore aim at investigating whether the risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease and psychiatric admissions among members of selected Danish religious societies differs from that of the general Danish population, possibly because of a specific effect of faith and/or religious activity, of being a member of a social network or by compliance with religious life style prescriptions. For this purpose, we will establish a cohort of members of religious societies such as the Apostolic Church, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Baptist Church and the Catholic Church. The establishment of this cohort will allow a range of scientific activities in decades to come.

1. A. Hoff, C. T. Johannessen-Henry, L. Ross, N. C. Hvidt, C. Johansen, Religion and reduced cancer risk: what is the explanation? A review. European Journal of Cancer 44, 2573-2579 (2008).

2. C. Johansen, N. C. Hvidt, L. C. Thygesen, paper presented at the IPOS, Vienna, Austria,  2009.

3. L. C. Thygesen et al., Cancer Incidence among Danish Seventh-Day Adventists and Baptists. Cancer Epidemiology 36, 513-518 (2012).

4. L. C. Thygesen et al., The Danish Religious Societies Health Study. International Journal of Epidemiology 41, 1248-1255 (2012).

5. L. C. Thygesen et al., Psychiatric disease incidence among Danish Seventh-day Adventists and Baptists. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology 48, 1583-1590 (2013).

Speak Your Mind