Friday, December 21, 2007

Anger and Heart Problems

Reuters Updated: March 3, 2006 Research by Timothy Smith, Ph. D. University of Utah

The manner in which husbands and wives argue over such hot-button topics such as money, in-laws, and children, may be a factor in their risk of developing coronary atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries of the heart.

In a study of 150 couples, mostly in their 60s, researchers found that women who behaved in a hostile manner during marital disputes were more likely to have atherosclerosis, especially if their husbands were also hostile.

In men, hostility -- their own or their wives -- was not related to atherosclerosis. However, men who behaved in a dominating or controlling manner -- or whose wives behaved in that way -- were more likely to have clogged coronary arteries.

"The only group of men that had very little atherosclerosis were those where both they and their wives were able to talk about a disagreement without being controlling at all," Smith said. "So the absence of a power play in the conversation seemed to be heart protective for men," he concluded.

This study supports a "small but growing body of research that suggests that beyond the health benefits of being married, marital quality seems to make a difference in heart health," Dr. Timothy Smith, a psychologist from the University of Utah noted in an interview with Reuters Health.

My posts here will be few so go to my other blogs for more great stuff

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Family Affair

Take a look at my Seasoned Believers blog for an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.

How Did It Help You?

I just received a letter from Beech Acres Parenting Center asking for testimonies. They want to know if any of your students have benefited from their training.

One of the hallmarks of good teachers is a feedback system that tries to discern what is working. That leads to this mantra:

If it works, do more of it.

If it does not work, stop it.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I hope our teaching and training couples how to minister to others works. But, if it did not we want to fix it. We need your feedback and feed forward to do better the next time.

Send your comments to me. Dr. Gary Sweeten

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Chuch Atttendance Brings Health

What are the deepest beliefs of Americans? According to polls a whopping majority of over 80% of us come from a Christian tradition. About 42% of Americans attend religious/church services weekly. This is far more than those who attend all professional sports in an entire year.

Some 95% of Americans believe in God. In 1985 George Gallup found that 72% stated: "My whole approach to life is based on my religion." We are the most religious western nation by far. This is especially shocking when we realize that the country is divided almost 50/50 in politics. America, for all her weaknesses, is a religious nation. As one wag noted, ”India is the most religious country in the world and Sweden the least. America is a bunch of Indians ruled by Swedes.”

Research shows that 91% of blacks, 93% of Hispanics and 88% of whites report a religious affiliation. Even more startling is the number for attendance: 51% of Blacks, 48% of Hispanics and 43% of Whites attend weekly or more often.

Sixty four percent (64%) of blacks in the national sample were members of religious communities (churches) with 59% of whites and 43% of Hispanics. Participation in religious activities outside weekend services is also high with 47% blacks, 41% whites and 31% Hispanics saying they are in church during the week as well as on Sunday.

(Social Capital

In a nation obsessed with racial and cultural diversity the facts about minorities and religious faith have been strangely absent from the dialogue. There is one astounding statistic about African American longevity and church attendance that is rarely if ever mentioned in the debates about faith based organizations and health care. An article by Hummer et al in Demography Journal, 36:273-285 in 1999, Blacks who attend church live much longer than those who do not.

Attendance------------White life expectancy---Black life expectancy

Never-----------------77 Years----------------67 = A 10 year difference
Less than or weekly---80 Years----------------75 = A 5 year difference
Weekly or more-------83 Years----------------80 = A 3 year difference

Whites who attend services more than weekly gain an average of six years in longevity but African Americans who attend services weekly or more gain a whopping 13 years in life expectancy. The difference in longevity is almost eclipsed by church attendance. In fact, attending church more often than weekly raises Blacks life expectancy to that of whites who attend weekly or less.