Religion, race, and breast cancer survival

Int J Psychiatry Med. 2003;33(4):357-75. doi: 10.2190/LRXP-6CCR-G728-MWYH.


Objective: The study investigated whether any of four measures of religiousness predicted longer survival for 145 African-American and 177 White women diagnosed with breast cancer in Connecticut between January 1987 and March 1989.

Method: Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models included a religious predictor and sociodemographic, biomedical, treatment, behavioral, and medical care covariables.

Results: The no denomination group had a hazard ratio (HR) of 4.39 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.42, 13.64). Other measures of religiousness did not yield statistically significant results but showed a consistent pattern of nonreligiousness being more strongly and negatively related to breast cancer survival in African Americans than in Whites.

Conclusions: Exploratory models confirmed that lack of religiousness was associated in this sample with poor breast cancer survival among African American women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Cause of Death
  • Connecticut
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Religion*
  • Survival Rate
  • White People / statistics & numerical data