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Religious Attendance, Health Maintenance Beliefs, and Mammography Utilization: Findings from a Nationwide Survey of Presbyterian Women

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Preventive health services, such as mammography, play an increasingly important role in maintaining women's health. Social factors, such as religion, may influence utilization rates by expanding access, offering information, and increasing motivation. The current study examines the relationship between religious involvement, religious beliefs, and mammography usage in a nationally representative sample of Presbyterian women (N= 1,070). We use multivariate logistic regression models to estimate the influence of religious service attendance and two health-related religious beliefs on self-reported mammography use. The findings show that religious attendance is significantly associated with mammogram use. Women who attend services nearly every week are almost twice as likely to use mammograms compared to women who attend services less frequently or never. Furthermore, the belief that spiritual health is related to physical health is also associated with the use of mammograms.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Maureen Benjamins is an epidemiologist at the Sinai Urban Health Institute, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Room F922, California Avenue at 15th Street, Chicago, IL 60608., Email: 2: Jenny Trinitapoli is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin., Email: 3: Christopher Ellison is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin., Email:

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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