Religiosity and Telomere Length in Colorectal Cancer Patients in Saudi Arabia.


Journal Article

Numerous studies have reported a significant relationship between psychological stress, depression, and telomere length (TL), an indicator of cellular lifespan. Religious involvement, which is associated with lower levels of stress and depression, has also recently been related to TL. To our knowledge, this relationship has not yet been examined in Muslims, colorectal cancer patients, cancer patients more generally, or any population outside the USA. A convenience sample of 50 colorectal patients was recruited from hospital-based oncology clinics in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Religious involvement was assessed with the 13-item Muslim Religiosity Scale. Social and psychological mediators were measured using established scales. TL was determined from whole-blood leukocytes using quantitative PCR technology. Bivariate analyses indicated a positive but nonsignificant relationship between religiosity and TL (r = 0.13, p = 0.35). Controlling for age, did not affect the relationship (B = 15.6, SE = 17.3, p = 0.37), nor did controlling for other demographic, social or psychological factors. Religious involvement was unrelated to TL in this small sample of colorectal patients. Future cross-sectional and prospective studies in different populations with larger samples are needed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Al Ahwal, MS; Al Zaben, F; Sehlo, MG; Khalifa, DA; Koenig, HG

Published Date

  • April 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 57 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 672 - 682

PubMed ID

  • 29299784

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29299784

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6571

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10943-017-0542-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States