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Doolittle BR, McGinnis K, Ransome Y, Fiellin D, Justice A. Mortality, Health, and Substance Abuse by Religious Attendance Among HIV Infected Patients from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. AIDS and behavior. 2021 Mar 1; 25(3):653-660.
Religion and spirituality have been associated with higher survival and improved biological markers among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH). Prior results have largely been among small cohort studies. We examined the association using a larger sample and longitudinal data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) years 2002-2012 (n? = 3,685). Attending services at least monthly was associated with higher social support (80% vs 75%, p? = 0.002), less unhealthy alcohol use (35% vs 39%, p? = 0.006), less marijuana use in the past year (23% vs 32%, p? < 0.001), less overall drug use within the past year (27% vs 31%, p? = 0.01), and lower depression (20% vs 24%, p? = 0.004). Attending services monthly was associated with a reduced mortality risk adjusting for age, race, gender, education, MSM, HCV, VL, CD4, and adherence to ARV (adjusted HazardRatio [aHR]? = 0.89, 0.80-0.99). However, after controlling for smoking status, this association of mortality and religious attendance became non-significant (aHR? = 0.93, 0.84-1.04).