Religiosity and self-rated health among Latin American and Caribbean elders.
OBJECTIVE: To describe religious affiliation, importance of religion, and the relationship between religion and self-rated health in persons aged 60 or older living in Latin America or the Caribbean. METHOD: We used data from seven cities (n = 10,587). Multivariate models were used to analyze the associations between religious affiliation and importance of religion with sociodemographic or health factors and self-rated health. RESULTS: Overall, 92% of the total study population had a religious affiliation; among those who are religious, 80% considered religion to be important in their lives. Half of the population (51%) reported fair or poor health. In multivariate models, older age increased odds of having a religious affiliation and religion being important. Women were about four times more likely to have a religious affiliation and over twice as likely as men to indicate that religion was important. Although religious affiliation was associated with poor health, this association was no longer significant after controlling for functional status. Older adults who considered religion as very important were less likely to report fair or poor health compared to those who were less religious (somewhat important, not very important). CONCLUSIONS: These older adults have a high prevalence of religious affiliation and most of them consider religion to be important. Better self-rated health was associated with higher self-rated religiosity.
Reyes-Ortiz, CA; Pelaez, M; Koenig, HG; Mulligan, T
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