The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Religion and major depression in adults

    Researchers at Columbia University, in New York, previously reported that the personal importance of religion or spirituality was associated with a lower risk for major depression.

    Now, they report the importance of religion among the offspring of the participants in that earlier study.

    First, the details.

    • 114 adult offspring of depressed and nondepressed parents were followed for 10 years.
    • Diagnosis was assessed with the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime Version, which is used for studies requiring detailed lifetime information on anxiety disorders, symptoms, and traits.
    • The importance of religion or spirituality, frequency of attending religious services, and denomination (all participants were Catholic or Protestant) were recorded.

    And, the results.

    • Offspring who reported that religion or spirituality was highly important to them had about one-fourth the risk of experiencing major depression compared with other participants.
      • Religious attendance and denomination did not predict this outcome.
    • The effect was most pronounced among offspring at high risk for depression by virtue of having a depressed parent.
      • In this group, those who reported a high importance of religion or spirituality had about one-tenth the risk of experiencing major depression compared with those who did not.
    • The protective effect was found primarily against recurrence rather than onset of depression.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Religion or spirituality may have a protective effect against recurrence of depression, particularly in adults with a history of parental depression.”

    These researchers are not the first to report this. A summary of other studies is here.

    Why it is necessary to lump religion and spirituality? They are not the same and deserve to be studied separately or as a comparison.

    9/27/11 23:20 JR

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