The Role of Sexual Orientation in the Associations Between Religiousness and Hypertension


Lamb, K. M.; Vaughn, A. A.; Calzo, J. P.; & Blashill, A. J. (2020). The Role of Sexual Orientation in the Associations Between Religiousness and Hypertension. J Relig Health.


This study assessed the cross-sectional associations between organizational religious activity (ORA), intrinsic religiosity (IR), and hypertension in a US nationally representative sample. Data were from Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, collected in 2008. The sample (N = 5115, M(age) = 28.96 years, 54% female) was divided into three sexual orientation categories: heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, and sexual minority. Dependent variables were systolic and diastolic blood pressure and binary cut-scores of clinical hypertension. ORA and IR were independent variables, with sexual orientation as the moderator. Multivariable analyses revealed greater ORA was associated with increased blood pressure (BP)/hypertension for the sexual minority group. There was a trend in the heterosexual group where ORA was associated with decreased BP. Generally, ORA was not associated with BP/hypertension in the mostly heterosexual group. There were no significant effects for IR. Future research should continue to examine the complex ways ORA and IR are associated with health based on sexual orientation and use longitudinal methodology to examine how ORA may impact BP/hypertension across the lifespan.



Blood Pressure

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

J Relig Health


Lamb, K. M.
Vaughn, A. A.
Calzo, J. P.
Blashill, A. J.

Year Published




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