Denominational and Gender Differences in Hypertension Among African American Christian Young Adults


Robbins, P. A.; Scott, M. J.; Conde, E.; Daniel, Y.; Darity, W. A., Jr.; & Bentley-Edwards, K. L. (2020). Denominational and Gender Differences in Hypertension Among African American Christian Young Adults. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. , PMCID: PMC8050134


Hypertension, a major cardiovascular disease risk factor, is disproportionately prevalent among African American young adults. Religion and spirituality (R/S) have been studied for their potential effect on blood pressure (BP) outcomes. Despite their disproportionate hypertension risk and high levels of R/S engagement, limited research explores BP differences among religious African Americans. This study investigates whether denominational affiliation predicts within-group differences in odds of having hypertension among African American Christian young adults. Data from Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) were used to examine hypertension differences between 1932 African American young adults based on self-reported religious denomination. Gender-separated logistic regressions included religious service attendance and coping measures, as well as personal characteristics and health behaviors to adjust for potential effects on BP. The odds of having hypertension were higher for Pentecostal women compared to Baptist and Catholic women. Hypertension odds for women who reported attending services more than once weekly were lower than those who never attended church. For women, frequent use of religious coping predicted higher odds of having hypertension than seldom or never using religious coping. R/S variables did not predict significant differences among men. The health benefits of R/S do not appear to be consistent within African American Christian young adults. Religion may be viewed as a source of BP risk and resilience, especially among African American young women. © 2020, W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute.



African American


Export Date: 26 October 2020

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities


Robbins, P. A.
Scott, M. J.
Conde, E.
Daniel, Y.
Darity, W. A., Jr.
Bentley-Edwards, K. L.

Year Published






Reference ID