Religion and Hypertension: Testing Alternative Explanations Among Immigrants

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A number of researchers have found that religious commitment has a salutary effect on blood pressure levels. Levin and Vanderpool's review of several of these studies led them to offer some methodological, epistemological, and conceptual criticisms of this body of literature, and they advanced various hypotheses offering possible alternative explanations for the putative salutary effect of religion on blood pressure. In this article, the effect of religious commitment on hypertension among a sample of immigrants is examined with these hypotheses and criticisms in mind. Even when the majority of Levin and Vanderpool's criticisms are addressed, the religion effect remains.