Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Gillum RF.
Data are lacking from representative samples of total populations and Hispanic Americans on the association of cigarette smoking and religiousness/spirituality, a protective factor for mortality, and on the validity of self-reported smoking data for religious research.
The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) included 18,774 persons aged 20 years and over with complete data on self-reported frequency of attendance at religious services, and cigarette smoking.
After stratifying by age, gender, and ethnic group, and adjusting for age, education, region, and health status, infrequent attenders (<24 times/year) were much more likely to be smokers than frequent attenders; odds ratios (95% confidence limits) ranged from 1.74 (1.45-2.10) to 3.06 (1.86-5.03). Among current smokers, frequent attenders smoked an average of 1-5 fewer cigarettes per day. Using serum cotinine > or =14 ng/mL as the gold standard for current smoking, under-reporting of smoking did not vary appreciably with frequency of attendance: false negative percentage for never smokers 3.1% in frequent attenders, 4.2% in others.
Greater frequency of attendance at religious services was associated with lower smoking prevalence by self-report or serum cotinine in a national, multi-ethnic sample.