The purpose of this study was to test the relationship between Buddhist religious practices and blood pressure. A cross-sectional survey of Buddhist religious practices and blood pressure was conducted with 160 Buddhist elderly in rural Uttaradit, northern Thailand. After controlling for the variables of gender, status, education, salary, underlying hypertension, exercise, salt intake, and taking antihypertensive medications, it was found that lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure is associated with the Buddhist religious practice of temple attendance. The Buddhist older people who regularly attended a temple every Buddhist Holy day (which occurs once a week) were found to have systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings lower than people who did not attend as regularly. It is recommended that nurses advocate for temple attendance in the care protocols for older Buddhist hypertensive patients both in Thailand and internationally.
Keywords: Buddhism; Thailand; blood pressure; religion; spirituality.
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