Spiritual well-being, religious activity, and the metabolic syndrome: results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study

J Behav Med. 2017 Dec;40(6):902-912. doi: 10.1007/s10865-017-9858-7. Epub 2017 May 15.


Sociocultural risk and protective factors for developing the metabolic syndrome (MetS), a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), have not been well studied in Hispanics/Latinos residing in the United States (U.S.). Religiosity and/or spirituality (R/S), important aspects of Hispanic/Latino culture, have been inversely associated with CVD and multiple CVD risk factors. Cross-sectional associations between dimensions of R/S and prevalent MetS, and its five individual components were examined using multiple logistic and linear regression, among 3278 U.S., middle-aged and older Hispanic/Latino adults from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study. Dimensions of R/S were not associated with presence of the MetS. Certain dimensions of Spiritual Well-being (Meaning, Peace, Faith), and frequency of non-organizational religious activity were weakly but significantly associated with one or more MetS components including waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure, and systolic blood pressure. R/S variables were not associated with triglycerides, fasting glucose or HDL cholesterol levels. Prospective, longitudinal studies are needed to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of the relationship between R/S and health risk factors in U.S. Hispanics/Latinos.

Keywords: Cardiovascular risk; Hispanic/Latino; Metabolic syndrome; Religiosity; Spirituality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States