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The University of Houston has released the results of a study that indicates Black men in their 50s and older, who attend religious services on a regular basis, may have lower mortality rates. The information was recently published in the PLOS One Journal in an article, ‘Religious Attendance and Mortality Among Older Black Men.’

Marino Bruce, who serves as the Director of the University’s Population Health’s Collaboratories and Associate Dean for Research in the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, led the study that covered a 17-year time period. Bruce and the co-authors used data from the National Health and the National Examination Survey. Bruce says that “Black men have been oppressed, commodified, surveilled and criminalized like no other group in U.S. history and they often experience disproportionately high levels of social and psychological stress from structural racism, institutional discrimination and unfair treatment from early childhood through late adulthood.” He feels that this type of stress has a big impact on the health of these men.  Bruce says churches and similar institutions provide affirmation, deliver messages specifically for them and represent a safe space.

Information included in the research: health records, national death indexes, church attendance/social support, nutrition, physical activity and household status.