LOMA LINDA, Calif., June 28 (UPI) -- Health disparities between African-Americans and other U.S. adults are well-documented, but black Seventh-day Adventists are healthier, researchers say.
Jerry Lee, principal investigator for Adventist Religion and Health Study, and colleagues at Loma Linda University's School of Public Health, say the study involved 11,000 Adventists, including more than 3,400 black Adventists.
The researchers used data from the survey, which included questions about physical and mental health such as: "During the past four weeks, how much did pain interfere with your normal work?" or "How much time during the past four weeks have you felt downhearted and depressed?"
The researchers compared the results from a nationwide sample of people who took the same survey and found black Adventists reported better physical and mental quality of life than the U.S. norm.
"It is striking that, although in the general population blacks show poorer quality of life on a variety of measures, our results show that black Adventists have a significantly better quality of life than the average American," Lee says in a statement. "This difference is particularly pronounced in older age groups, who progressively demonstrate increased mental health -- lower depression, more energy, feeling more calm and peaceful, etc. -- relative to the general population. This could be a result of the healthy lifestyle choices that are built into the Adventist faith."
Compared with non-Adventist blacks and whites, rates of smoking, drinking and meat consumption for Adventists were lower, while rates of vegetarianism, water consumption and attending church were higher.