Cancer and total mortality among active Mormons

Cancer. 1978 Oct;42(4):1943-51. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(197810)42:4<1943::aid-cncr2820420437>;2-l.


Based on Church records for 15,500 California Mormons during 1968 to 1975 and for 55,000 Utah Mormons during 1970 and 1975, the ratio of age-adjusted death rates for religiously active Mormon males compared with U.S. white males is 38% for ages 35 to 64 years and 50% for ages 35 years and above. The remaining life expectancy for active Mormon men at age 35 is about 44 years, over 7 years greater than for U.S. white males. Their standardized mortality ratio is 50% for all cancer, being 23% for smoking-related cancer sites and 68% for all other sites. Active Mormons, defined here to be High Priests and Seventies, abstain almost completely from the use of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea, but appear to be fairly similar to other white males with regard to socioeconomic status, urbanization, and diet. Active Mormons are healthier than Mormons as a whole and rank among the lowest in mortality when compared with other groups of healthy males.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • California
  • Christianity*
  • Coffee
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Ethnicity*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Smoking
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tea
  • United States
  • Utah


  • Coffee
  • Tea