Journal Article

Roles of Religious Involvement and Social Support in the Risk of Colon Cancer among Blacks and Whites

Anita Yeomans Kinney, Lindsey E. Bloor, William N. Dudley, Robert C. Millikan, Elizabeth Marshall, Christopher Martin and Robert S. Sandler

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 158, issue 11, pages 1097-1107
Published in print December 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online December 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Roles of Religious Involvement and Social Support in the Risk of Colon Cancer among Blacks and Whites

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This population-based case-control study of Blacks and Whites in North Carolina (1996–2000) examined the relation between social ties, etiology of colon cancer, and stage of disease at diagnosis. Interviews were conducted with 637 cases and 1,043 controls. Information was collected on two dimensions of social ties, structural (network) dimensions and functional (emotional and tangible help) dimensions. Infrequent attendance at religious services (less than once per month) was associated with a regional/advanced stage of colon cancer at diagnosis in Whites (odds ratio (OR) = 1.67, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09, 2.57; p for trend = 0.02) but not in Blacks (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 0.66, 2.21; p for trend = 0.80). Among Blacks, minimal emotional support was strongly associated with risk of colon cancer (OR = 4.62, 95% CI: 2.06, 10.35; p for trend < 0.001) and with both local (OR = 3.69, 95% CI: 1.08, 12.69; p for trend < 0.001) and advanced (OR = 5.10, 95% CI: 2.03, 12.82; p for trend < 0.01) disease. No associations between emotional support and risk of colon cancer or stage of disease were observed among Whites. These results suggest that certain characteristics of social ties are associated with both risk of and prognostic indicators for colon cancer.

Keywords: blacks; colonic neoplasms; religion; social support; whites

Journal Article.  7796 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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