Religion and preventative health care utilization among the elderly.

TitleReligion and preventative health care utilization among the elderly.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBenjamins, MReindl, Brown, C
JournalSoc Sci Med
Date Published2004 Jan
ISSN Number0277-9536
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Catholicism, Diagnostic Tests, Routine, Female, Health Services for the Aged, Health Status, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Jews, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Preventive Health Services, Primary Health Care, Protestantism, Religion and Psychology, Socioeconomic factors, United States

Evidence supporting a relationship between religion and physical health has increased substantially in the recent past. One possible explanation for this relationship that has not received much attention in the literature is that health care utilization may differ by religious involvement or religious denomination. A nationally representative sample of older adults was used to estimate the effects of religious salience and denomination on six different types of preventative health care (i.e. flu shots, cholesterol screening, breast self-exams, mammograms, pap smears, and prostate screening). Findings show that both men and women who report high levels of religiosity are more likely to use preventative services. Denominational differences show that affiliated individuals, especially those who are Jewish, are significantly more likely to use each type of preventative care than non-affiliated individuals. The results of this study open the door to further exploration of this potentially important, but relatively neglected, link between religion and health.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Religiosity/Elderly/Health Care Utilization

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalSoc Sci Med
Citation Key6945
PubMed ID14572925