Religiosity and faith in relation to time to metabolic syndrome for Hispanic women in a multiethnic cohort of women—Findings from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

Amanda A. Allshouse, Nanette Santoro, Robin Green, Jason Y.Y. Wong, Dawn M. Upchurch, Genevieve Neal-Perry, Rebecca C. Thurston, Carol A. Derby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: We investigated whether faith was associated with a difference in time to incident metabolic syndrome (MetS) among midlife Hispanic women vs women of other ethnicities. Study design: The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) is a community-based, longitudinal study of a cohort of midlife women. Social, demographic, psychosocial, anthropometric, medical, and physiological measures, and incident MetS were assessed in near-annual intervals using questionnaires and assays. Each participant answered key questions related to religion and meaning in her life. Differences in time to MetS were modeled by Hispanic ethnicity (vs. otherwise) among women reporting low and high levels of faith. Main outcome measure: Incident MetS in the 7 years after the SWAN baseline assessment. Results: Among 2371 women, average baseline age 46, Hispanic women (n = 168) were more likely to have higher perceived stress and financial strain than non-Hispanic women (n = 2203). Nevertheless, Hispanic women were far more likely than non-Hispanic women to report that faith brought them strength and comfort in times of adversity, that they prayed often, and that their faith was sustaining for them. Hispanic women had the highest incidence rate of MetS of any racial/ethnic group. However, among women with high levels of faith, the incidence rate of MetS was similar in the Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups. Conversely, among women with low levels of faith, Hispanic women had a faster progression to MetS than did non-Hispanic women. Conclusions: Faith might be associated with a different risk of MetS among women of Hispanic vs other ethnicities. Among women who are not part of a faith community, Hispanic ethnicity might be a risk factor for MetS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jun 2018



  • Faith
  • Hispanic
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Midlife
  • Religion
  • Stress
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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