Posted on 27 January 2023
The University of York-led study showed that health professionals, working with faith leaders, can deliver effective, low-cost messages on how people can keep their blood pressure on the healthy side.
High blood pressure can lead to a range of health conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, and strokes.
The study, published in PLOS Global Public Health, found that faith institutions play a variety of roles, including:
The study was a review of 24 studies, with 39,540 individuals, the majority from the US.
Dr Abayomi Sanusi, from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, said:
“Most of the evidence of how well faith institutions can help communities comes from congregations of Black African and African American Christian adults.”
“Faith institutions offer low-cost, effective and sustainable solution to helping people maintain their blood pressure. Promoting health through faith institutions, holds unrealised potential to support and supplement healthcare systems, particularly in low-income, religious or underserved communities.”
Dr Su Golder, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Health Sciences, said: “Although cultural and religious influences on human behaviour vary across communities globally, this study provides evidence of the role that faith institutions have and the benefits of cardiovascular public health intervention.”
“These are potentially useful for the construction of community-based, long-term, meaningful, sustainable, and perhaps permanent interventions and solutions.”