Religion and spirituality (R/S) are critical sources of hope and resiliency for millions of people. In this study, we use data from a Spirituality Survey (SS-1) that we previously fielded among several diverse U.S. cohort studies as part of our JTF-funded “Study on Stress, Spirituality, and Health” (SSSH) to investigate the impact of R/S on incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) – a high-priority condition that affects more than 37% of the U.S. population and accounts for $351 billion in health care spending each year. We will also conduct psychometric and machine learning analyses of our SS-1 items to better understand the meaning captured by various SS-1 R/S measures across diverse populations, and to identify those facets of R/S that are most predictive of disease outcomes. All analyses are to be conducted within the individual racial/ethnic communities included in the SSSH (Black, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian, South Asian, and white) to see whether the same R/S measures are associated with CVD across these diverse communities, and/or whether there are R/S measures that have particular salience in a given racial/ethnic community but not others. We also propose to support up to 10 different R/S analyses on other important health outcomes led by outside investigators through establishing an R/S Research Catalyst Fund. Lastly, through using the knowledge produced through this project, we will identify a candidate list of the most important R/S measures that U.S. cohort studies might collect going forward through a consensus-building workshop with our entire research team and numerous invited cohort principal investigators (PIs).
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