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Religious Beliefs May Associate With Cardiovascular Disease

by Karishma Abhishek on January 17, 2021 at 6:24 PM
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Religious Beliefs May Associate With Cardiovascular Disease

Religious beliefs modify a unique protein that is on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) among U.S. South Asians as per a Study on Stress, Spirituality and Health (SSSH), a cutting-edge proteomics analysis at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) published in the journal Scientific Reports.

This is the first study to analyze proteomics signatures in relationship to religion and spirituality in any population.

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Religiosity and Cardiovascular Disease

"Before we can develop the best interventions to reduce CVD disparities, we need to understand the biological pathways through which health disparities are produced. As this study shows, psychosocial factors - and religious or spiritual struggles in particular - can affect biological processes that lead to CVD in this high-risk population," says the study's principal investigator and co-senior author Alexandra Shields, PhD, director of the Harvard/MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations and Health Disparities at the MGH Mongan Institute and associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).
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Spirituality is also known to have a resilient and protective effect. This may help design spiritually focused psychotherapy for those in spiritual distress, that in turn may reduce the risk of CVD in those populations.

The study included 50 participants who developed CVD and 50 sex- and age-matched controls without CVD from the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) Study (100 participants).

It was observed that unique protein expression profiles association with CVD may also be impacted by religious struggles, in which, for example, individuals experiencing adverse life events feel they are being punished or abandoned by their God, or have a crisis of faith.

"Understanding the pathways of this mechanism at the molecular level using proteomics technology is crucial to developing potential interventions that can help reduce CVD incidence in this population," says Long H. Ngo, PhD, lead author and co-director of Biostatistics in the Division of General Medicine at BIDMC and associate professor of Medicine at HMS.

The study thereby provides highlight on the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to modification of unique proteins at molecular levels, in association with religious struggles.

Source: Medindia
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