Religion and medicine IV: religion, physical health, and clinical implications

Int J Psychiatry Med. 2001;31(3):321-36. doi: 10.2190/X28K-GDAY-75QV-G69N.


In the fourth and final article of this religion and medicine series, I summarize the results of a comprehensive and systematic review of research examining religion's relationship to physical health and mortality. This review focuses on pain and disability, cardiovascular disease, immune and neuroendocrine function, susceptibility to infection, cancer, and overall mortality. I also explore what these research findings mean for medical practice and suggest patient-centered applications that are sensitive to ethical concerns.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Infections / immunology
  • Infections / therapy*
  • Interleukin-6
  • Mental Healing
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Spirituality
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / therapy*


  • Interleukin-6