“Health Statistics Favor Mormons,” Ensign, July 1975, 63
Not too long ago there appeared in a publication of the University of California at Los Angeles an article with this title: “Strikingly Low Cancer Mortality Among Mormons.” (UCLA Cancer Bulletin 1: April/May 1974.)
This article, by Dr. James E. Enstrom, reported that Latter-day Saint church members sampled who lived in Alameda County, California, during a six-and-one-half-year period, had a mortality rate only 55 percent as great as the total sample in that county. Then the article went on to state that for the entire state of California, a comparison of expected mortality for the year 1970 indicated that Latter-day Saints experienced only about 50 percent of expected deaths from all causes and from cancer of all sites. So, indeed, in terms of these California statistics, we are a peculiar people.
Of particular interest, low rates occurred for cancer of the stomach, colon, breast, kidney, and other sites that have never before been clearly related to factors such as smoking. The article underlined the peculiarities of these Mormon statistics.
Another recent study indicates that Utah residents, about 72 percent of whom are Latter-day Saints, experience total mortality and cancer mortality rates that are the lowest in the United States. (Public Health Service, “Vital Statistics of the United States: 1969,” by Dr. Joseph Lynn Lyon, University of Utah School of Medicine, Washington, D.C., National Center for Health Statistics, 1973.)
A third study with somewhat preliminary data indicates that the cardiovascular disease mortality rate among Los Angeles County, California, Church members is roughly one-half of the rate for the entire Los Angeles County white population. Dr. James E. Enstrom, a nonmember who also made this study, stated, “Almost all forms of cardiovascular disease are lower than expected, and the total cardiovascular disease mortality rate for Los Angeles County Mormons as a whole is about the lowest of any substantial United States population group thus far studied.” (“Cardiovascular Disease Among Mormons,” to be published.)
Dr. James O. Mason, Latter-day Saint Commissioner of Health Services,
Brigham Young University address, June 11, 1974.