Some researchers in the field of ageing claim that significant extension of the human lifespan will be possible in the near future. While many of these researchers have assumed that the community will welcome this technology, there has been very little research on community attitudes to life extension. This paper presents the results of an in-depth qualitative study of community attitudes to life extension across age groups and religious boundaries.
Perhaps one of the most unexpected and novel findings in nutritional epidemiology in the past 5 y has been that nut consumption seems to protect against ischemic heart disease (IHD). Frequency and quantity of nut consumption have been documented to be higher in vegetarian than in nonvegetarian populations. Nuts also constitute an important part of other plant-based diets, such as Mediterranean and Asian diets.
BACKGROUND: Relative risk estimates suggest that effective implementation of behaviors commonly advocated in preventive medicine should increase life expectancy, although there is little direct evidence. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that choices regarding diet, exercise, and smoking influence life expectancy. METHODS: A total of 34 192 California Seventh-Day Adventists (75% of those eligible) were enrolled in a cohort and followed up from 1976 to 1988. A mailed questionnaire provided dietary and other exposure information at study baseline.
The longevity and excellent health status of the population of Crete has been attributed to its lifestyle and dietary habits. The impact of Greek Orthodox Christian Church fasting on these dietary habits has never been studied. One hundred and twenty Greek Orthodox Christians living in Crete participated in a 1-year prospective study. One half of the subjects, who fasted regularly (fasters), and sixty non-faster controls were followed longitudinally for the three main fasting periods over 1 year; Christmas (40 d), Lent (48 d) and the Assumption (15 d).
A survey of the attitudes and practices of general practitioners in Northern Ireland regarding contraception and abortion was carried out in 1994 and 1995 with a randomized sample of 154 physicians. The vast majority of doctors who received requests for contraceptives from their patients fulfilled those request (94%). Overall, 13% of the doctors said a married patient had requested an abortion in the past three months, and 34% had had a similar request from an unmarried patient.
Religious groups have laid thousands of hospital cornerstones, but today's business bent is forcing hard choices about how best to minister to the poor and sick. Hospitals owned by religious communities are both numerous and endangered, with as many as half expected to change hands.
Modern historical research of women and nursing has largely neglected the role of religious groups, particularly in the American frontier. The image of women at the end of the 19th century was one of submission to male authority and confinement to the domestic sphere. However, in the pluralistic West, a variety of organized religious women built and administered hospitals, initiated professional nursing, and provided effective health care services.
When compared to suicide rates in the general population, it may be expected that elderly suicide rates would be lower in Catholic and Orthodox societies than in non-Catholic or non-Orthodox countries because of religious affiliations and extended family traditions. National suicide rates in the general population were compared with rates in the sub-population of those aged over 75 years. Proportionately, there are significantly higher suicide rates in elderly men in Catholic and Orthodox countries, compared to rates in other countries, with a trend for similar findings among women.