Abstract P088: The Association of Religious Affiliation With Cholesterol Levels Among South Asians: The Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) Study
Background: South Asians have disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease. Dyslipidemia is a common and contributing factor.
Objective: We hypothesized that lifestyle behaviors are influenced by religious beliefs and may be associated with cholesterol levels. We determined the associations between religious affiliation and LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides among South Asians in the U.S.
Methods: We performed cross-sectional analyses of the 2010-2013 baseline data from the MASALA study (n=906). Using multivariate linear regression models, we examined the associations between self-reported religious affiliation (Hinduism/Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Other and None) and lipid levels after controlling for age, sex, and cholesterol medication use. We determined whether smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, and dietary pattern would explain the association.
Results: The mean age was 55±9 years, 46% were women, and 29% were taking cholesterol medications. The majority of respondents were Hindu and/or Jain (74%), followed by 8% Sikh, 7% Islamic, 6% no religious affiliation, and 5% other (Christian, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, and multiple religious affiliations). The mean LDL was 111±32 mg/dl, median HDL was 48 mg/dl (IQR: 40-57), and median triglycerides was 119 mg/dl (IQR: 88-157). The table shows the associations of religious affiliation with lipid levels in serially adjusted models. The majority of the effect of religious affiliation was attenuated by physical activity for LDL; by alcohol use, physical activity and smoking for HDL; and by alcohol use and physical activity for triglycerides.
Conclusions: Islamic religious affiliation was associated with higher LDL, triglycerides and lower HDL, and Hinduism was associated with lower HDL. However, lifestyle behaviors completely explained these associations. Thus, religion-specific tailoring of interventions designed to promote healthy lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol levels among South Asians may be useful.
Author Disclosures: G. Hirode: None. N. Bharmal: None. N. Kandula: None. A.M. Kanaya: None.
- © 2017 by American Heart Association, Inc.